Bidding a fond farewell to THE JET
The Jet, our 1989 Seagrave J-Cab #X-79964 triple combination pumper is as American and classic as any fire engine out there. The Seagrave Company was founded in Detroit in 1881 and is America’s oldest Fire Apparatus Manufacturer. The Jet was the 12th consecutive Seagrave that the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department purchased between 1954 and 1989. It served as “Engine 332” starting in 1990 until January 1, 2020. The Jet is one of the most famous fire engines on the East Coast.
In addition to years of steadfast service, shuttling the volunteers from one emergency to the next, this firetruck also played a unique role in the largest terrorist attack on US soil. On September 11, 2001 The Jet was transferred to DCFD Engine Co. 26 at 11:30 am, then at 12:25 they were dispatched on the 3rd Alarm to the Pentagon. The Jet was part of a small contingent sent to the inner courtyard to try and extinguish fire from the inside out. The Jet operated at the Pentagon for just over 10 hours before returning to PG County.
The Jet had a longer than average career at the Nation’s busiest Volunteer Firehouse. Most Engines running this call volume are moved to the reserve fleet or slower stations then mostly retired once they hit the 15-20 year mark. After 30 years in service, over 42,000 runs and 1000’s of fires The Jet has arguably been to more runs and fires than any other engine in service worldwide.
In 2018 Kentland looked into replacing The Jet, so an apparatus committee was formed and grants proposals were submitted. Incredibly, we were awarded an AFG grant of $500,000. Part of the stipulations of the grant stated The Jet, once replaced, would no longer be able to continue active service in the United States. With anticipation of the new Pierce Arriving, we placed The Jet out of service January 1, 2020, then invited the membership to place bids. The winning bid came from Life Member and Former Tower Captain Joe Brown, who took delivery of The Jet yesterday. We’re sad to see her going to live on a farm, but she’s earned it!