Ol' Betsy Restoration Project

Class Project


The Leadership San Marcos Class of 2015 selected to restore Ol' Betsy as their class project.  Ol' Betsy is a 1926 American LaFrance vintage fire engine.  She is affectionately nicknamed Ol' Betsy.  The City of San Marcos purchased the fire engine brand new and has held on to her ever since.

Every year the leadership team of San Marcos picks a project that gives back to the community is some way.  The San Marcos Fire Department's oldest fire truck, 1926 American LaFrance Pumper Truck was in need of restoration to return to its former glory and working condition.  The class raised an impressive $16,000 to restore Ol' Betsy to operational condition so the truck can again be used in parades and for public education activities.
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SMFD Engineer, Greg Mechler, restored all of the wooden side-boards, tailboard, and hose bed.  A Garland, Texas firefighter constructed a period correct ladder, and a wood felloe was hired to rebuild the wheels, including reproducing 48 new wooden spoke for the wheels.  A Roanoke, Texas firefighter was commissioned to install a new engine, automatic transmission, and rewire the entire apparatus.

Token of Thanks


Fire Chief Les Stephens presented a beautifully framed photo of the 1926 American LaFrance fire engine as a token of thanks to Leadership San Marcos Class of 2015 representatives, Jim Swisher and Teresa Lauderdale.

Challenge Coins


Challenge Coins were sold as one of the many fundraisers to help raise the funds.  They were beautiful, full color custom designed bronze coins with the San Marcos Fire Department Logo on the front and picture of Ol' Betsy on the back.