APFD revisits Station 34 at the Relay for Life Firefighters Pancake Breakfast in April of 2005.
This 1973 Firecoach Crown Pumper Engine is now property of UC Davis Athletic Department after serving the UC Davis Fire Department for 30 years. Purchased by the UC Davis Fire Department back on March 11, 1974 this engine was one of three main workhorses of the University of California, Davis Fire Department. The rig known as Engine 234 was put into service and served gallantly for the department in and around the community of Davis and had been sent all the way down to Los Angeles during the LA fires. In the winter of 2003 the UC Davis Fire Department finally retired Crown Engine 234 and replaced it with a newer Westates Engine. Sadly and reluctantly the fire department had no choice but to sell Engine 234 to offset costs and make room for the newer fire trucks and engines. Engine 234 was the last of the original fleet left from the 1973-74 purchase and many heavyhearted firefighters who had worked, served and trained on 234 put the For Sale tags on it. Once the Crown Pumper Fire Engine was put up for sale many Crown enthusiasts and antique collectors came to see it. With a lot of lookers and not a buyer the engine sat on the market and now outside Fire Station 34 where it once was housed.
But in the early in spring of 2004 it caught the eye and interest of one Davis resident and UC Davis employee, Greg Ortiz, Assistant Promotions Coordinator of the UC Davis Intercollegiate Athletics Department. Right away Greg went out to the Fire Department to look at the engine and immediately knew he had to have it. He envisioned the engine as a new blue and gold icon for the UC Davis campus and a new level of spirit for Athletics and the Aggie Pack. After many conversations with officials from the Fire Department and the UC Davis campus about the plan for the engine, the only thing holding up the purchase was money. With the state of California budget still uncertain Greg and his ever-growing group of supporters went to Associated Student Body of the University of California Davis, (ASUCD) for help. With the aid of President Kalen Gallagher and Senator Jessica Engel and Aggie Pack emcee Mike Dobransky, Greg set out to get $5000 approved to purchase Fire Engine 234. After explaining that all restorations, repairs and upkeep of the engine would be the responsibility of the athletic department and not that of the students, the 12 Senator's voted unanimously to approve the necessary funds to purchase the engine for the Aggie Pack.
Over the course of the 2004 summer, marketing guru Brian Otis with the help of others took the helm to resurrect Engine 234 and bring the rig back to service. After 4 months of stripping the engine down to its skeletal frame it was reborn as the Aggie Pack Spirit Engine on October 15, 2004 at the annual Homecoming Bonfire.
While there are many who have been involved with the Aggie Pack Spirit Engine, we would like to acknowledge the contributions from the following people...Wes Arvin, Scott Brayton, Mike Dobransky, John Ebner, Jessica Engel, Kalen Gallagher, Sara Henry, Dave Jurewicz, Graham Northop, Greg Ortiz, Brian Otis, Tony Pataca, Paloma Perez, Marci Pieratt, Scott Stevenson, Larry Swanson, Christina Toy, Greg Warzecka, Aggie Pack, ASUCD, Fleet Refinish, S.W.A.M.P., and the UC Davis Fire Department.
Spring 2004 (Before)
Winter 2004 (After)