Can you picture it? For just $100, you could be cruisin’ down State Street in your very own fire truck.
The Pennsylvania National Fire Museum is giving the community a chance to win a fire truck through a raffle to raise money for updates to its building.
According to John Bruetsch, treasurer and finance director at the museum, raffling off older engines like this has become increasingly popular. As trucks age and take up space, fire companies can often make more money by raffling a truck than selling it, he said.
And now collectors, or even just those looking for a fun new ride, can benefit.
On the table is a 1989 Mack fire truck, the “workhorse” of fire engines, Bruetsch said. The model was only made through 1991, making it a collector’s item, he added. It runs well, drives well and pumps water well, he said. The engine also contains a manual transmission, a 500-gallon water tank and lots of equipment, including a hose.
According to Bruestch, “It’s a one-of-a-kind.”
The truck came to the museum from a fire company in Gilbertsville in northwest Montgomery County. Bruetsch said the museum housed it for a while, but ran out of space.
Community members can buy $100 raffle tickets for a chance to win the engine. They plan to sell 200 tickets before closing the sales.
If the winner really does want to drive it around town, they’re in luck. Anyone with a license can drive the truck, Bruetsch said. A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is not needed.
In total, the raffle has the potential to raise up to $20,000 for the museum, which will go towards new air conditioning units that the museum needs, Bruetsch said.
Lt. Jonathan Kibe of Swatara Township Fire & Rescue hopes the odds are in his favor for the raffle, which he entered. This is his fifth time entering a fire truck raffle, he said. Kibe, a third-generation firefighter, owns some fire memorabilia already, but nothing that compares to a truck.
If he wins, Kibe said that he will enjoy the truck with his kids and possibly drive it in parades.
“It’s important to try and preserve history,” he said. “Firefighting is something that the history isn’t always well preserved. Owning a piece of history is important to me.”
For more information, visit the Pennsylvania National Fire Museum’s Facebook page or contact John Bruetsch at 717-554-6483.
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