On January 5, 1948, the Pleasantview Volunteer Fireman's Association in LaGrange, Illinois voted to purchase a John Bean high pressure fog truck to be mounted on a 1948 Ford F-7 at a cost of $6,102.25. The new truck was delivered on April 1, 1948. With the delivery of their first truck, what is now the Pleasantview Fire Protection District began operation. They answered their first call on April 12, 1948. The truck was sold to the Clarendon Heights Fire Protection District in 1957 when they began operation.
On a dark night, shortly after 2 A.M., September 1, 1961 Engine 392 responded to the biggest call in its long history. A TWA Constellation crashed in a corn field shortly after takeoff from Chicago's Midway Airport killing all 78 people on board. Engine 392 as it was now known, was the first due. It was one of the first trucks in the area equipped with a Motorola two-way radio.
In later years the truck was known as Squad # 392 and carried a generator, portable lights, SCBA, and other rescue tools.
In 1979 the truck was sold to the Village of Makanda, Illinois, and made the long trip down to Southern Illinois. The truck saw limited use, reportedly making only a handful of calls, mostly to grass fires. Makanda, Illinois which is located a few miles south of Carbondale, disbanded their fire department and put the truck up for sale.
In 1984, after 36 years of active fire service the truck was retired and purchased by Ron Manwaring, an auxiliary firefighter with the Murphysboro Fire Department. The truck was to become an antique parade truck. "Old 392" was first used in the Murphysboro Apple Festival Parade. To avoid confusion with the real Murphysboro Fire Department someone named it The Apple City Fire Department, and the name stuck.
Engine 392 has been used for public relations demonstrations at schools in the area. It has lead numerous athletic team victory parades into town, hauled Scouts, birthday parties, family and friends. Most important to kids young and old, the truck was graced for many years by one of the Manwaring's Dalmatians, Sparky and Chief. Sadly they no longer sit on top of the hosebed barking thier greeting to spectators along the curb.
The Apple City F.D. has been featured on T.V. shows and numerous newspaper stories. The truck has won many trophies and ribbons at area shows. The Governor of Illinois even posed for a photograph with the truck and Sparky at the DuQuoin State Fair. The truck is now housed in a two-bay fire station Manwaring built across the street from his house in Murphysboro, Illinois.
In March of 2016 after 38 years without it's bell, the original bell was returned to the truck thanks to the help of a former member of the Claredon Heights Fire Department. The fire truck that faithfully served Pleasantview FPD , Clarendon Heights FPD, and the Village of Makanda is well preserved and still wears the number 392. Today it serves as the center piece of the Apple City F.D. Engine 392 is also featured in a page on the World Wide Web
|The Pleasentview Builder's Photo at the FMC Plant||Squad 392 at Claredon Heights|
|A picture of Squad 392 in-service at Claredon Hts.||Another picture of 392 in-service at Claredon Hts.|
|Engine 392 as it appeared in 1984 just after being purchased by Ron Manwaring||Before the ACFD had a home of its own the truck was stored in a back corner of Station II. This is a photo of Engine 392 as it leaves for the last time. It is moving to its new home ACFD station I. At the time no one guessed that Eng 6 and 392 would be engine mates again 8 years later.|
|Ron is frustrated with the old truck having to make repairs just before the start of a parade.||Ron works to install the bell in March of 2017|
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