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CAPE COD BRUSH BREAKERS 

"A pictorial history of the unique forest firefighting apparatus"
First Edition January 2001 - Re-launched January 2022 - Page Updated January 10, 2022


| MAIN | HISTORY | FIRES | APPARATUS | DEPARTMENTS | YEARS |

02 - HISTORY PAGE
02 - HISTORY PAGE
02 - HISTORY PAGE 
 
 
 
 
Brush Fires
Forest Fires
Fire Towers
Fire Airplanes
Patrol Trucks
Brush Breakers
Forestry Vehicles
Tankers
Drills and Training
Controlled Burns
 
 


Before there were motorized vehicles, forest fires were able to burn almost unchecked.
Citizens and firefighters would use hand held water extinguishers, rakes, brooms, and other
hand tools to create fire breaks and stop fires.  Horse drawn wagons could carry a number of
extinguishers but were slow and unable to go off main roads.


Refilling hand held water extinguishers.

 
 
 
 


The memorial is locate on Route 130 in Forestdale.




Smokey Bear for fire prevention.


Preventing Forest Fires - Tailgate of DEM District 7 Patrol truck.


Only You!


Smokey

 

Smokey Bear
      The huge number of forest fires in the early 1900's across the country resulted in an advertising campaign to try to prevent or reduce the number of forest fires. In 1944 Smokey Bear was created. In 1947 the familiar "Remember... Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires" slogan began. The image of Smokey Bear with his hat and shovel are recognized by all as a reminder to be careful with fire to prevent forest fires. The Firefighters Memorial in Sandwich and many other examples stand as a reminder of just how dangerous forest fires can become. The key is Prevention.




 


 


 

 

 


As early as the late 1800's, observation posts (fire towers) were constructed so that
observers could spot smoke early and try to locate fires while still small.
This tower was and still is located in Wellfleet.

Barnstable Fire Tower
Bourne Fire Tower
Brewster Fire Tower
Dennis Fire Tower
Falmouth Fire Tower
Nickerson State Park - Brewster
Sandwich Fire Tower
Shawme-Crowell State Park - Sandwich
Wellfleet Fire Tower

 


The Falmouth Fire Tower was constructed in 1914.  


Barnstable Fire Tower on Shootflying Hill
in 1919.

Shootflying Hill in 1920


This fire tower in West Barnstable oversees much of the mid Cape
area.  It is located along Route 6.  The trees are all grown up now.


The Barnstable Fire Tower in 1992.


Inside the fire tower is a centrally located map.  Observers simply get a line
on the smoke and by crossing lines from two or more towers, the fire can
be located and communicated to fire fighters. 


Wellfleet Fire Tower



Sandwich Fire Tower, like most of the others, have become more
cell phone and radio towers than fire observation towers in
recent years.  This is somewhat poetic since the invention of the
cell phone had greatly improved the ability of the public to call in fires
early from their cars.


Another example of modern technology competing with the need for fire towers.
Bourne Fire Tower.



Brewster Fire Tower


Map display of Massachusetts fire towers in 1913

 

THE FIRE PLANE


Locating and observing brush fires is key to extinguishing them before they get too large.
Barnstable County owned and operated a Fire Patrol airplane (P-18) for many years.
It could relay information on the size and movement of the fire to chiefs on the ground.










P-18 with pilot John Lemos and fire warden Robert Dottridge.




 

 

 
AIRCRAFT
Barnstable County Airplane P-18 1950s-1960s
Barnstable County Airplane P-18 1960s-1990s
Plymouth County Airplane P-1-0


BRUSH BREAKERS

1937 Breaker - Town of Barnstable - Osterville FIRST BRUSH BREAKER Ford
1938 Breaker - Sandwich No.3 Ford
1939 Breaker - Barnstable County No.1 Cotuit, Falmouth Ford-Robinson

1941 Breaker 11 - Bourne No.11 Mil. 4x4 Scout Car Brush Breaker 
1942 Breaker - Barnstable County No.2 Cotuit, W Barn Ford-Robinson
1943 Breaker 9 - Bourne No.9 Chevy Mil 4x4 Brush Breaker
1944 Breaker - Otis AFB Diamond T 1000 gallon
1944 Breaker 7 - Bourne No.7 - Mon Beach - Chevy Mil 4x4 Brush Breaker
1946 Breaker C30 - Falmouth Dodge
1947 Breaker - Town of Barnstable - Cotuit Dodge
1949 Breaker - Barnstable County No.3 Orleans Ford Robinson
1949 Breaker 8 - Bourne No.8 Ford
1949 Breaker 9 - Bourne No.9 Mil
1948 Breaker 212 - Town of Barnstable - Centerville - Dodge (former BMA crash truck)


1950 Breaker 9 - Bourne No.9 - Pocasset - Ford 4x4 Brush Breaker
1950 Breaker - Harwich No.5 Ford-Robinson "White Elephant"
1951 Breaker - Barnstable County No.4 Dennis Ford-Robinson
1952 Breaker 216 - Town of Barnstable - Osterville - Second Generation Ford
1954 Breaker - Chilmark No.4 - Ford-Maynard
1950s Breaker - Plymouth - Manomet - Dodge
1950s Breaker - Plymouth - No.306 - Dodge
1950s Breaker - Carver 24 - Ford
1957 Breaker C15- Barnstable County No.1 Falmouth Ford-Maxim
1957 Breaker 250 - Mashpee No.3 - 1942 Former County No.2
1957 Breaker 253 - Mashpee - International/Maynard 
1959 Breaker - West Tisbury E2 - Ford-Maynard


1960s Breaker 14 - Otis AFB - Mil
1960s Breaker 18 - Otis AFB - Mil
1962 Breaker 212 - Town of Barnstable - Centerville - International-Maxim
1964 Breaker 64 - Lakeville FF2 - International-Maxim
1964 Breaker 1 - Marion E5 (127) - International-Maxim
1960s Breaker 85 - Freetown, MA - International
1964 Breaker 5 - State - Dist 1 - Shawme - FWD-Farrar
1964 Breaker 6 - State - Dist 1 - Shawme - FWD-Farrar
1965 Breaker 18 - State - Dist 2 - Myles Standish - FWD-Farrar
1965 Breaker 19 - State - Dist 2 - Myles Standish - FWD-Farrar
1965 Breaker 8 - Wareham FF8 - Jeep  (later FF3 - 403)
1965 Breaker 142 - Sandwich B1 - Dodge-Maynard
1966 Breaker 143 - Sandwich B2 - Dodge-Maynard
1967 Breaker 254 - Mashpee - International/Thibault
1967 Breaker 216 - Town of Barnstable - Osterville - Maxim - Third Generation
1967 Breaker 23 - Carver - International-Farrar
1967 Breaker 176 - Plymouth FF6 - International-Farrar
1968 Breaker 177 - Plymouth FF7 - International-Farrar
1968 Breaker 5 - State - District 1 - Shawme -  International-Farrar
1968 Breaker   - Wareham - GMC-Maxim   (later Rochester 195)
1969 Breaker 8 - Otis AFB - Kaiser Mil
1969 Breaker 215 - Town of Barnstable - Cotuit - Dodge  (later 267)

1970 Breaker 8 - Bourne Eng 8 - Dodge PW Brush Breaker - Burned 1975
1970 Breaker 173 - Plymouth FF3 - International-Farrar
1971 Breaker 110 - Dennis T1 - Dodge  (later Nantucket)
1971 Breaker C15 - Barnstable County No.1 - Falmouth - International-Thibault
1972 Breaker 9 - Otis AFB - Gibson Mil
1973 Breaker 153 - Sandwich - 1953 Studebaker-Young
1975 Breaker 128 - Bourne No.8 - 1967 Kaiser-Young
1975 Breaker 128 - Bourne No.8 - 1967 Kaiser-Young
1976 Breaker 20 - Falmouth - Dodge-Continental
1976 Breaker - Chilmark - Ford/Farrar
1976 Breaker 171 - Plymouth FF1 - International-Farrar
1977 Breaker 130 - Bourne B-10 - 1953 International 6x6  (Orig Otis breaker)
1977 Breaker 130 - Bourne No.10 - 1953 International Mil
1977 Breaker 204 - Barnstable - 1952 Reo-Young "Iron Lion"
1978 Breaker 1 - Wareham FF1 - Ford-Farrar
1978 Breaker    - Wareham FF    - Ford-Farrar
1979 Breaker 176 - Plymouth FF6 - International-Farrar

1980 Breaker 142 - Sandwich B1 - 1967 Kaiser-Young
1980s Breaker 124 - Marion FF2 - Mil-Young
1980s Breaker 1 - Raynham - 1968 Jeep
1982 Breaker 295 - County/West Barnstable - 1967 International-Young (Last Barn County)
1982 Breaker 30 - Falmouth - Ford-Farrar  (later B16)
1984 Breaker 1 - Middleboro FF1 - International/Maxim
1986 Breaker 129 - Bourne B9 - 1952 Reo
1988 Breaker 47 - Duxbury - International-Maxim
1988 Breaker 48 - Duxbury - International-Maxim

1990 Breaker 194 - Rochester - 1984 Chevy
1990 Breaker 172 - Plymouth FF2 - International-Murphy  (later 177)
1991 Breaker 27 - Carver - International-Murphy
1991 Breaker 376 - Wareham - 1978 Kaiser-Murphy  (later 402)
1991 Breaker 175 - Plymouth - International-Murphy
1992 Breaker 6 - State - Dist 1 - Shawme - International-Murphy
1992 Breaker 74 - Kingston - International-Murphy
1992 Breaker 178 - Plymouth FF8 - International-Murphy
1992 Breaker 174 - Plymouth FF4 - International-Murphy
1993 Breaker 179 - Plymouth FF9 - International-Murphy
1995 Breaker 374 - Wareham FF4 - 1970 Kaiser-Murphy  (later 404)
1995 Breaker 8 - Otis ANGB - 1983 AM General
1995 Breaker 9 - Otis ANGB - 1976 Gibson
1997 Breaker 85 - Lakeville FF1 - International-V-Tech
1997 Breaker 149 - Onset F9 - Ford
1998 Breaker 29 - Carver - International-Murphy
1998 Breaker 6 - State - Dist 1 - Shawme - 1972 AM General-V-Tech
1998 Breaker 19 - State - Dist 2 - Myles Standish - 1975 AM General-V-Tech
1999 Breaker 173 - Plymouth Ff3 - International-Murphy
1999 Breaker 28 - Carver - International-Murphy

2000 Breaker 147 - Onset F7 - 1974 Mil   (later 148)
2001 Breaker 353 - Mashpee - 1971 AM General-VTech
2001 Breaker 129 - Bourne B9 - 1971 Jeep
2001 Breaker 267 - Cotuit - International-Murphy
2001 Breaker 75 - Kingston FF2 - Ford-Greenwood
2001 Breaker 127 - Bourne - 1974 Mil
2001 Breaker 127 - Bourne B7 - 1974 Mil 4x4 Brush Breaker
2002 Breaker 461 - Sandwich - 1978 Mil-Sandwich FD
2002 Breaker 463 - Sandwich - 1952 Reo rebuilt by Sandwich FD
2002 Breaker 235 - Brewster - 1959 Kaiser-Greenwood
2003 Breaker 172 - Plymouth Ff2 - Freightliner-Murphy
2004 Breaker 194 - Rochester - International-Broduer
2005 Breaker 354 - Mashpee - International-Plymax
2005 Breaker 175 - Plymouth - Freightliner-Murphy
2005 Breaker 375 - Plymouth - 1991 International-Murphy  (former 175)
2006 Breaker 732 - West Tisbury - Sterling-Murphy
2007 Breaker 731 - West Tisbury - 1972 AM General-VTech (former State B6)

2012 Breaker 128 - Bourne - 1959-71 Kaiser Mil 6x6 Breaker-Tanker (was Brewster 235)
2013 Breaker 27 - Carver - International-V-Tech
2014 Breaker 129 - Bourne - 1996 Mil 6x6 Brush Breaker




FORESTRY & PATROL TRUCKS

1910's Fire Truck - State DOC - Middleboro?

1922 Patrol Truck - Town of Barnstable - Osterville - Dodge

1930 Fire Truck - Edgartown Forest Fire Dept -
1930's Fire Truck - Plymouth Forest Fire Dept -
1930's Engine 6 - Plymouth Fire Dept -
1930s Patrol Truck - Orleans -
1932 Fire Truck - Sandwich Fire Dept - Ford
1934 Patrol Truck - Bourne - Chevy
1938 Patrol Truck - Town of Barnstable - Osterville - Ford
1939 State Forest Fire Truck - Mass DOC - Bourne - Ford COE

1942 Patrol - State DOC - Lower Cape - Chevy
1940s Patrol Truck 178 - Dennis Chevy
1940s Forestry - Falmouth - Mil Scout Car

1955 Forestry C33 - Falmouth - Dodge
1950 Patrol Truck - Town of Barnstable - Ford
1951 Patrol Truck 2 - Bourne - Chevy 
1950's Patrol Truck - Dennis - GMC
1957 Forestry E2 - Harwich - International
1957 Forestry E6 - Yarmouth - Dodge
1957 Forestry - Plymouth - International - Greenwood Estate
1958 Patrol Truck 210 - Town of Barnstable - Osterville - Ford

1960s Patrol Truck - Sandwich 141 - Ford - Fire Chief truck
1960s Patrol Truck - Sandwich 140 - Ford 4x4
1960s Patrol Truck - State - Dist 1 - P4 Lower Cape - Dodge
1960s Forestry - State - Dist 7 - 75 - Dodge
1962 Forestry F9 - Onset - Dodge
1967 Forestry - Yarmouth - International - Great Island (Originally 1957 Plymouth)
1967 Patrol Truck 210 - Town of Barnstable - Osterville - Ford
1967 Forestry 2 - Middleboro Ff2 - Jeep
1969 Patrol Truck 220 - Town of Barnstable - Osterville - Ford
1960s Forestry - Duxbury - International

1970s Patrol Truck - State - Dist 1 - P3 Upper Cape
1970 Forestry 90 - Wellfleet F1 - Dodge
1974 Engine 4 - Hyannis - Dodge
1975 Forestry 129 - Bourne - "Tinkerbell" - 1960s Jeep 4x4 Brush Truck
1975 Patrol Truck 210 - Town of Barnstable - Osterville - Ford
1976 Forestry 105 - Dennis - Dodge

1984 Patrol 17 - State - Dist 2 - Myles Standish - Chevy
1985 Patrol 16 - State - Dist 2 - Myles Standish - Chevy
1986 Patrol 4 - State - Dist 1 - Lower Cape - Chevy
1989 Patrol 290 - West Barnstable - Chevy

1991 Forestry 277 - CCNS - International-Metal Masters
1994 Forestry 240 - Brewster - Ford-Murphy
1994 Forestry 46 - Yarmouth - Ford-Fire Resources
1995 Forestry 317 - COMM - GMC-Fire One
1996 Forestry 187 - Chatham - Ford
1996 Patrol 3 - State - Dist 1 - Shawme - Ford
1997 Patrol - CCNS Ford
1997 Forestry 238 - Brewster - 1975 Dodge
1999 Forestry 110 - Dennis - Ford  (later 108)

2000 Forestry 49 - Yarmouth - 1986 Chevy
2000s Patrol 811 - State - Dist 1 - Vineyard - 1980s Chevy
2001 Forestry 480 - Truro - Ford
2001 Forestry 169 - Orleans - 1978 Dodge
2002 Forestry 277 - CCNS - Ford-Boise
2002 Forestry 230 - Edgartown - Ford
2003 Spec Haz 158 - Eastham - 1991 International-Metal Masters (former CCNS)
2004 Forestry 290 - West Barnstable - Ford
2005 Forestry 169 - Orleans - Ford
2006 Forestry 67 - Harwich - Ford
2007 Forestry 187 - Chatham - Ford
2007 Forestry C4 - State - Dist 1 - Shawme - 1998 Chevy


FORESTRY ENGINES & SPECIAL APPARATUS

1930 Engine 3 - Centerville - Ford Model A 75gpm/200 gallons (then Mashpee)
1930 Ford Model A Forestry Truck - Bourne - MB - Eng 2
1938 Engine 5 - East Falmouth - Maxim, 500gpm/1000 gallons
1953 Engine 3 - North Falmouth - Diamond T 500gpm/1000 gallons
1942 Engine 4 - Centerville - Ford 500 gallon
1950s Engine 5 - Halifax, MA - Ford
1950s Engine 4 - Marion - Dodge
1960s Engine 3 - Marion - GMC


TANKERS - TENDERS - ENGINE TANKERS

1935 Tanker 1 - Falmouth - Ford, 800 gallons
1950 Engine 2 - Mashpee - Dodge 800 gallons
1965 Tanker 1 - Falmouth 35 - International-Maxim 1000 gallons
1965 Tanker - CCNS - International-Darley 1000 gallons
1968 Tanker 13 - Otis AFB - 5000 gallon
1973 Tanker 296 - West Barnstable - 1960s International-Trailer 5000 gallons
1985 Engine-Tanker 296 - West Barnstable - Pierce 2000gpm/3000 gallons
1999 Tanker 2 - State - Dist 2 - Myles Standish - 1975 AM General 1200 gallons
2000 Tender - CCNS - 1984 AAM General 1000 gallons
2000 Tanker 733 - West Tisbury -
2002 Tanker 1 - State - Dist 2 - Myles Standish - 1982 Mack-Kovatch 5000 gallons
2002 Tanker 464 - Sandwich - 1980 AM General-Fire One 2000 gallons
2003 Tanker 157 - Eastham - 1997 GMC-Almonte 2000 gallons
2003 Tanker 734 - West Tisbury - International-US Tanker - 2200 gallons
2005 Tanker 298 - West Barnstable - 1975 Dodge 3500 gallons
 

 


MISCELLANEOUS

2000s RAT - State - Dist 1 - Shawme - Remote Access Trailer
2000 Dozer 1 - State - Dist 2 - Myles Standish - John Deer dozer

 

 

 
APPARATUS LIST UPDATE

APPARATUS - BARNSTABLE COUNTY FOREST FIRE DEPARTMENT
1939 - No.1 - C15 - 1939 Ford COE / Robinson Boiler 125/1000 Brush Breaker (CT-FA-WB-GH)
1942 - No.2 - C14 - 1942 Ford COE / Robinson Boiler 125/1000 Brush Breaker (CT-WB-MA)
1949 - No.3 - C13 - 1949 Ford COE / Robinson Boiler 150/600 Brush Breaker (OR)
1951 - No.4 - C12 - 1951 Ford COE / Robinson Boiler 150/800 Brush Breaker (DE)
1957 - No.1 - C15 - 1957 Ford/Maxim 150/800 Brush Breaker (FA-EA)
1958 - No.2 - C14 - 1958 Maxim 250/800 Brush Breaker (WB)
1960 - No.3 - C13 - 1960 Maxim 250/800 Brush Breaker (OR-EA-BR)
1963 - No.4 - C12 - 1963 Maxim 250/800 Brush Breaker (DE-BR)
1971 - No.1 - C15 - 1971 International/Thibault 250/1000 Brush Breaker (FA)
1982 - No.2 - C14 - 1967 International/1982 T Young 250/1000 Brush Breaker (WB 295)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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