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April 15, 2019   |   The Durango Herald


Durango Fire Protection District retires oldest engine

It’s an old truck, painted lime green to be more visible at night. Its decals are fading. Durango Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Jeff Harris admits it’s not pretty, but it is functional.

The Seagrave engine rolled into Durango in 1982 – the first automatic transmission firefighting truck for the department. It drove “like a Cadillac,” Kelly said.

“She carried everything we need,” Kelly said. 

With the turn of a knob to engage the batteries, a flip of a master switch, then ignition switch, and a push of a button, the diesel engine roars to life. The tachometer shakes with the rumble of the engine. A generator stored on top of the truck wobbles as it takes corners and bumps in the road.

The truck got firefighters to the scene within five minutes of receiving a call for decades, Kelly said. It’s run countless calls – records are either buried or lost, Harris said.

After the Durango Fire Protection District retires Engine 1 this summer, the Fort Lewis Mesa Fire Protection District will put the engine to work.

“It’s really tough,” Kelly said before he kissed the engine goodbye. “She served this community well.”

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