Troop 228 Restores SVFD Hose Cart
By SVFD Web Team
May 16, 2021

Over the last several months, during the COVID pandemic members of Troop 228 worked on an Eagle Scout project benefitting the SVFD. Troop 228 is the Boy Scouts of America Troop sponsored by the SVFD. Boy Scout Conor McCooey spearheaded a project to restore and improve an antique firefighting hose cart that has been displayed outside the Granite Springs Firehouse for many years. Conor, with some assistance from other troop members, took on the project of researching the history of the hose cart, painting and restoring, making a plaque, and improving the area around where the hose cart is displayed. The new plaque reads:

"Circa early 1900's hose reel cart manufactured by the Wirt & Knox MFG. CO. of Philadelphia, PA.

The cart in not original to this firehouse and was purchased at auction. The cart served for a number of years at the Guerlain Perfume Company on Route 138.

These portable hose carts- known as "spiders"- were used mostly by small towns and railroads, and would have been pulled by four people. When a fire broke out, the volunteers would pull the cart to the location to fight the blaze. The cart would have hauled the equipment needed to fight the fire such as a hose, axe, nozzle holder and other such implements.

As firefighting methods improved, the hose carts were replaced by fire trucks with pumpers. The use of fire extinguishers and failure to adapt to the changing market led to the decline of the now defunct Wirt & Knox.

The restoration of this cart by Somers Boy Scout Troop 228 honors the brave firefighters of the Somers Volunteer Fire Department.

Restored 2021 by Conor McCooey, Troop 228"

Before earning his Eagle Scout rank, Conor will need to present his project and related research to the Board for approval. In his research, Conor found the company that took over Wirt & Knox, National Foam, and after speaking with them they would like to get a copy of his project and pictures.

The project was a huge success! Thank you to Conor for helping to preserve this unique piece of firefighting history and honoring the members of the SVFD!