In 1970, the McLean Volunteer Fire Department in Fairfax County, Virginia placed into service a Peter Pirsch AT 41 pumper that is equipped with a 750 gallon per minute pump and carries 400 gallons of water. It carries Pirsch serial number 2928.
The open cab provided an interesting ride for both the driver, officer, and firefighters on the back step. In 1972, the Pirsch was in an accident that required extensive work in order for the truck to be placed back into service. That work was completed by Swab and included body repair, a change of color to red and white, and the addition of a yellow stripe. Swab also provided a roof to the open cab Pirsch, complete with a Roto-Ray warning light on top.
The Pirsch remained in active firefighting service from 1970 through 1986. Afterwards, it remained on the McLean VFD apparatus roster for parades and other ceremonial events. In 2008, the Pirsch was repowered by Keplinger Repair of Winchester, Virginia with a Mack diesel engine, replacing an older Cummins diesel. In 2017, the McLean volunteers decided to further the life of the Pirsch by having extensive work completed by Atlantic Emergency Solutions at their Roanoke, Virginia shop. Additional paint work, wiring, and other body work was completed to further enhance this outstanding fire truck.
The forty eight year old Pirsch continues to make over forty events per year attending parades, ceremonies, and local events. In addition, each year the Pirsch becomes Santa’s sled by chauffeuring Santa around to the neighborhoods of McLean. The 1970 Peter Pirsch continues to be housed at Fire Station 1 in McLean, Virginia.
Photo by Mike Sanders.