Casper College and Wyoming LAST Team Up to Create a Procession Fire Engine

Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 2:02 PM CST
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Casper College teams up with the organization Wyoming LAST in order to create a procession fire truck that will be used for fallen first responders as well as parades.

Former Wyoming State Fire Marshal Mark Young and the Wyoming LAST organization began looking for a fire truck five years ago that could be customized to carry a casket on the hose bed. A fire engine manufactured by American LaFrance in 1970 was found outside Cheyenne, Wyoming, that would work perfectly. However, the old truck needed extensive engine and bodywork.

That’s when Young approached Casper College diesel power technology instructors Mike Johnson and Steven Bartolic, who saw this as a great opportunity for the welding, auto body repair technology, and potentially the machine tool technology programs. Students would be able to work on this truck and fix it up, which would be an excellent experience for them.

College officials didn’t hesitate to take on the project, for it would be a rare opportunity for students to be able to restore a rare piece of equipment from the ground up.

Wyatt Dockendorf, one of the students working on this project, reflects on restoring the engine. He said, “Taking it apart was really fun. Just seeing ‘oh wow this is pretty dirty’ and ‘this is broken, this needs fixed.’ Fixing it, finding new parts for it, rebuilding it, and then officially painting it and hearing it run, that was really satisfying.”

The truck at the moment is operational, but it still requires further work before it’s ready. The target date for its completion is anticipated to be in a little over the year.