Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ferrara Fire Apparatus

Today was a busy day!  We left home about 10:45 to make a stop at the post office to mail a birthday package to Jon's friend.  Then a stop at CVS for some cough drops and candy.  We made our way over to O'Neal Lane to meet Brian at McDonald's for lunch.  We got there before him so we went inside and ordered our sandwiches.  They had these cool square tables.  I had never been to this location before.  

The kids are waiting patiently for Daddy to show up for lunch.

When Brian came we ate lunch and then got on the road.  

Lunch didn't take us as long as we thought and we had nice easy traffic so we were pretty early for our field trip.  Luckily we had packed cookies and water to snack on.  

While we were snacking, Tom (former firefighter and employee at Ferrara) the tour guide came out to the van and gave us a calendar and talked for awhile while we waited for the rest of the families to show up.  He told us some very interesting stories about being a firefighter.  He said that new firefighters are called 'boots' and they go through some sort of 'hazing' when they're new.  One thing he told us was that they put baby oil on the pole in the firehouse, ring the fire bell, and then watch as the 'boots' slide down the pole really fast.  He said one time they filled his boots with water and then rang the bell.  He got a surprise that day.   He also took the time to teach the kids how to speak like you're from New York.  He was from New Jersey.  He got Jon to say "how you doin?" and "Eh, I'm walkin' 'ere".  Pretty funny. 

Finally the rest of our friends showed up and we got to begin our tour.  

Because I had the stroller and Matthew, I hung out at the back of the crowd.  Any of the following information may or may not be true . . . based on whether or not I heard correctly.  Ha!

Ferrara Fire Apparatus rolls out about one new truck each day.  They are all special ordered - meaning they don't just make generic fire trucks and people come in and buy them off the lot.  Each truck is custom ordered and then built.  

These trucks are basically just cabs at the moment.  They are waiting to have the backs built.  

This cab has a double door on each side.  

Team Smith representing at Ferrara.

There were 63 homeschoolers (moms, dads and kids) there today.  Quite a crowd!  I can see two of my kids.  Can you?

This truck is being built for FDNY!  

Then we went into the factory to take a look around.  Some of the cabs raise up to allow access to the engine.  

Andrew was just a bit taller than the tire.  Expect a lot of photos of Andrew - the other kids were in the midst of the group and didn't present themselves for photo opportunities.  

Matthew found it all quite yawn-worthy and decided to use the time in a more productive way. 

There are 65 different shades of 'firetruck red'.

This firetruck is being built for Chi-Town.  The truck is painted black on the top because the trucks get so close to fires that the tops of the trucks were getting black marks from debris etc.  So, they ordered this one with black paint on the top.  

There was a yellow firetruck.

This man was attaching a stripe decal along the front.  Notice the lights on the floor waiting to be put in.  

This is Andrew.

This is Andrew's favorite firetruck.  The orange one.  He wants it for Christmas in case you're taking notes.

This is Andrew watching his reflection in the metal wall as he danced.  

There was a board with the decals from some of the fire departments who ordered firetrucks from Ferrara.  

I didn't see any from MN.  What's wrong with you guys?? 

Even the People's Republic of China has ordered some.

You can go to this link and find out where some of the trucks have been sent.  

Here is our model next to some gauges and levers.

Our tour guide Tom explains that the stripes on the back of the firetruck are actually a DOT regulation. 

Jon walked by and I told him not to step in the blood.  Hahaha - it is only red paint.  You shoulda seen his face. 

"Does anyone have any questions?"  I asked Andrew if he did and he said to me "is it hard to make firetrucks in this big firetruck building?"  Little did I know that he was on to something.  

Cool red doors.  Huge! 

Aww, he's a good model and so patient with me posing him in front of everything.  

After the tour we were shown into a room with a very old Ahrens Fox fire engine.

Peter - like a deer in headlights a little.  

This was an old barber chair modeled like a firetruck. 

As we were leaving the parking lot it occurred to me that Andrew had been paying attention on the tour.  When he wanted to know if it was hard to make firetrucks it was probably because we didn't actually get to see how firetrucks are made.  Hmmm.  Maybe they can't tell us because of some highly secret maneuvers they make while building them.  Who knows.  It was fun anyway and I think the kids had a good time.  

Next up . . . 

Those pizza pictures that I couldn't show you before.  Yes - my camera and computer made up and they're speaking to each other again!


The Resident Farmer said...

That's way cool. You must have had fun. Yes I can. James and Alyssa. Nothing's wrong with us. Most of our fire trucks are made here in Minnesota or Wisconsin and they ship them all over the world. Why would we go to Louisiana? Silly girl.

Farmer's Wife said...

Good pics. Fun to go to places like that and get some education along with the FUN!