Mid-Atlantic Rescue Systems, Inc.

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America's Fire Engine



By John M. Malecky                                                           October, 2023


America’s Fire Engine

The American LaFrance 700 Series, 1947-1959

By Walter M.P. McCall and Alan Craig


Available from:

FSP Books & Videos

433 Main Street

Hudson, MA  01749


E-mail: support@fire-police-ems.com


Price: $49.95


This is a soft cover book measuring 8 ½ inches by 11 inches, with 359 pages plus index. It is nearly one inch thick. I have met one of the authors, Walter M. P. McCall, and can say that he is a dedicated man of impeccable stature, and one who strives for accuracy. I have called on him a number of times over the years with questions and he has always come through. I do not know Mr. Craig, but since he is partnered with McCall, I can only consider him of equal standing. Together they put a fantastic book on the market focusing mainly on the American LaFrance 700 Series and ill-fated 800 Series apparatus. The 700 Series was the first cab forward apparatus to come into the industry where the driver and officer sat forward of the motor. The book is loaded with photos, mostly black and white, but all quality shots. But it is not only a photo album. In the beginning of the book is a chronological history of all of the ALF models right up to the closing of the company, including a chapter of the Canadian Cousins as they describe them because there eventually was a Canadian plant which produced trucks with a beaver on top of the bell rather than an eagle which was atop of the American built trucks. There are 22 enjoyable chapters which can easily be read over and over. Chapter 21 is a synopsis of production and chapter 22 is a registry of deliveries. I dare say there is nothing left out, although the authors admit that they are not perfect and are open to corrections. The “AFD” which stood for “Anytown Fire Department” was on the early demos, meaning there were no restrictions as to where these apparatus could serve. In my opinion, this book is well worth the cost and is one that could sell itself!

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John MaleckySenior Columnist

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