Mundelein's antique fire truck getting attention

A special committee will oversee the preservation and maintenance of Mundelein's antique fire truck.

The village board on Monday created the committee for the Old No. 1 truck, a 1925 Stoughton that was required by the town and restored a few years ago.

The group will have 11 members, one of whom will be Fire Chief Tim Sashko. The 10 other members will be volunteers who are local residents, work at local businesses, are firefighters or are retired firefighters.

The truck had been given to the village in 1925 by Roman Catholic Cardinal George Mundelein, in gratitude for naming the town in his honor. The truck remained in service until 1945, and it repeatedly changed hands in the ensuing years.

A retired Mundelein firefighter saved the truck from a scrap pile in 1994. The same ex-firefighter restored the truck, which made its return to Mundelein in 2009 as part of the village's centennial celebration.

“It's a keepsake,” Sashko said. “It's an heirloom like you'd pass down in your family.”

The truck is displayed at events in Mundelein or in other towns from six to eight times a year, Sashko said. Because the truck isn't too roadworthy, officials want to buy a trailer to haul it from place to place.

Routine maintenance can be costly, too, Sashko said.

“It takes time and money to be able to do that (work),” Sashko told the Daily Herald.

The new committee will study repair, transportation and preservation options for the truck and make recommendations to the fire chief.

The group also will organize fundraising events.

Mayor Steve Lentz will appoint the committee's members, with board approval for each one.

“We are grateful for the folks stepping up to do this by volunteering their time,” Lentz said in an email. “Their efforts will help ensure that Old No. 1 continues to provide that important link to our rich history.”

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