I am spending a few winter months on my boat at Bocas del Toro, Republic of Panama. The Bocas del Toro fire department owns a 1914 American La France pumper. It came to this island community in a crate in 1922. Here is a picture taken today of the pumper with me on the running board. It has a brass pump so that it can pump sea water. It went out of service in 1988 and is kept by the department for display. The original engine was replaced by a 1950's Chevy 6 cylinder. Rumors are that the original engine is still around on the main land of Panama.
The fire department web site is at http://bocasbomberos.tripod.com/
The department is not looking to get rid of the pumper. They declined two modern fire trucks in exchange. They do need equipment, like helmets , fire coats, and any kind of fire fighting equipment. They especially need a Jaws-of-Life as they have no way to get someone out of a car if there was an accident. This community of about 2,000 people has limited funds and would appreciate donations from more well to do fire departments, or any source. Contact Keven at 011 507 757 9274. He speaks good English as well as excellent Spanish.
If people are interested in more pictures, let me know and I will post them.
Not to take away from your thread, Neil, but if you are ever in the Chraleston, SC area, you should go to the Fire Museum there (Actually, it is in North Charleston near the airport). Quite a selection of fire trucks there. Mostly American LaFrance. There was a T and two horse drawn steam powered fire engines as well as a couple of human powered pumpers, one from the late 1700's.
I get to Charleston every so often as I live in North Carolina.
It was really a surprize to see a 1914 fire truck sitting next to the modern ones at the Bocas fire station. They have 4 and this is one of the 4.
The story I got was that they quit using it when they couldn't get tires. At this point, I don't thing they are interested in putting it back in service.