History of a 1963 Jeep FC170 DRW Front Pump Fire Engine
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 The truck was purchased in “cab and chassis” configuration by the US Federal Government’s Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation on 8/8/1963. It was then shipped to Howe Fire Apparatus Company in Anderson, Indiana who converted it into front pumper Fire Engine. After it’s completion it was delivered back to the federal government on 2/11/964 for exclusive use at the Anderson Ranch Dam in Boise, Idaho. 


The Dam had been completed in 1951, and a base camp with 20 permanent houses was built to support it. These houses were occupied by full time employees who operated the dam daily. In addition there were barracks for housing another 100 temporary personnel for when major repairs or enhancements were made to the dam. Given the small service area the truck saw virtually no action. 


As technology advanced the need to employ so many full time operating personnel at the dam diminished.  By 1984, with automated systems in place, what had once required over 20  full-time employees now required just one person. As a result the base camp was demolished by the government and there was no longer a use for the Howe Jeep Fire truck.


Despite it being in excellent shape, authorities felt the truck had little value and thus asked local communities to submit a detailed written request to determine who might be able to put it to the best use. The truck was ultimately awarded at no cost to a small Fire/EMS group in Prairie Idaho, only 23 miles from the Anderson Ranch Dam,.


As is the case with many of the smaller “pumper” trucks, they work best where fire hydrants or a source of water (like a lake or pond) are readily available. The on-board water tanks are only capable of providing a few minutes of firefighting water. Given the rural mountainous terrain of Prairie, without easy access to water sources, the truck saw little use and was essentially parked by the EMS group during the last 20+ years. Despite it being stored outside, the dry Idaho climate suited its survival well.


In May of 2020, with a fund-raiser for a new building underway, the Prairie Fire/EMS group contacted well-known Jeep FC aficionado Craig Brockhaus about how to sell the truck and get maximum value. Craig made a call to an FC collector who is focused on the preservation of FC service trucks and a sale was consummated.


The truck is now undergoing a comprehensive process to preserve as much of its originality as is possible and to service every aspect of it to top operating condition. Since it’s deliver 57 years ago, it has only traveled 3,636 miles and until its delivery in July of 2020 to its new owner, had never left a 25 mile radius since first commissioned.