Guardians of The City SFFD Home Page - San Francisco Fire Department Museum SFFD HomeBack to GuardiansofTheCity.org Home Page
Companies:

Civil Defense Auxiliary Pumping Engines
San Francisco Fire Department

At the beginning of the Second World War the City organized the Civil Defense Auxiliary to expand the manpower of the Department. Members of the Civil Defense Auxiliary were all volunteers.  Smaller apparatus was purchased to augment the regular Department engines, such as this Chevrolet ton and a half truck with a 500 GPM pump.  Members of the CDA wore World War I army style steel helmets painted white and with their engine number marked in dark blue.  To respond to alarms the driver and the officer rode in the cab and the rest of the crew in the hose bed as these units did not have tail boards.  During the World War II years there were 10 Civil Defense Auxiliary pumps in service.  In 1952, at the start of the Korean police action, nineteen additional pumps were purchased and placed into service.

Air Raid WardenAnother section of the Civil Defense Auxiliary was the assignment of one man as a block captain.  The block captain made nightfall rounds around his area looking for homes that had a house light on without having their blackout shades drawn.  Each captain, the block air raid warden, wore a white arm band with the symbol of the organization.  In the basement of his home the block captain had a four wheeled cart that carried fire a department extinguisher, a couple lengths of hose, a nozzle and some hose fittings.  This cart also carried other small tools that would assist with fire and emergency situations, such as, water and natural gas shutoff wrenches and large and small spanners.

After the war these small pumping engines were placed into a reserve active status.  The Civil Defense Auxiliary was disbanded and the City replaced it with a newly created San Francisco Fire Department Reserve.  Then Captain, William F. Murray was assigned as the first commander of the Reserves.  Members of the Reserve, all volunteers, were each assigned to an engine and would report there if they were called to active duty.  The regular engine company in each firehouse maintained these small engines and, in addition, each unit was sent to the drill tower on a monthly drill schedule.  The Reserves then manned the rig at the drill tower operating the pump in wet fire ground evolutions.  In the late 1970's the Department began selling these small pumping engines at the City's surplus property public auctions.

With the sale of the small engines, the Department increased the number of standard engines on their relief roster.  As in the past, today firefighters of the Reserve are assigned to particular reserve engines quartered at a specific fire station.  The Reserves continue to drill, now with the reserve engines, on a weekly evening schedule.

Chrysler Trailer Pumps

Another addition to the Civil Defense fire service protection at the beginning of World War II was the purchase of five Chrysler trailer pumping engines.   Single-stage 500 GPM Hale centrifugal pumps were mounted on the trailers.  The units were powered by Chrysler 6 cylinder car engines.   Carried were 2 - 4 ½ inch x 15 feet hard suction hoses that allowed the pumps to draft from cisterns or the bay or hook up to hydrants.  The five Chrysler pumps were given SFFD shop numbers: 222, 226, 254, 335 and 336.

One trailer was housed at the Fire Department headquarters in the basement of City Hall to protect the building.  A compliment of large and small line hose and fittings were stored with the pump.  Everyone who was assigned to headquarters, from the Chief to the clerk, was a firefighter hired off the Fire Department Civil Service lists.  Everyone had prior firehouse experience and knew how to operate this pumping engine, if the need were to arise.  It wasn't until the late 1950's, that then Chief of Department William Murray hired the first civilian secretary to work in his office at Headquarters.  Prior to that date every clerical position was filled by a fireman.

In the 1960's, the trailers were rebuilt to carry Airfoam units.  Later, these Airfoam units were placed on 1974 Attack Hose Tenders. 

The five Chrysler trailer pumps were sold at the City and County public auctions. 

Auxiliary Engines and their Locations

All Civil Defense Auxiliary Engines Carried the Following Equipment:
800 feet of 2 ¾ inch large line hose, 200 feet 1 ¾ inch small line hose, Two 8 foot 4” hard rubber suction hoses, one 12 foot straight ladder, one 14 foot extension ladder, 2 McLaughlin wyes, 2 Gorter large line nozzles, 2 McLaughlin small line nozzles, hose and ladder straps, 2 axes, 1 ceiling hook, 100' utility rope, 15 feet of suction rope, 5 gallon water extinguisher, 10 lb CO2 extinguisher, one water and gas key shutoff, various fittings, hose and suction spanners, 2 sets of 3 inch male and female increasers and reducers, one bell reducer, 2 ½  inch NST to 1 ¾ inch SFFDST, one  gallon oil can and 2 wheel chock blocks.

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 1

Location:
1942   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 46. 441 - 12th Avenue
1970   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1942 - 1970
1942   Ford l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford V-8 pump motor
Engine: Ford V-8, 60 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 2

Location:
1942   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Fireboat Co. No. 2, Foot of Bay Street, Pier 33 ½
1954   May, relocated to the quarters of Truck Co. No. 18, 1935 - 32nd Avenue
1970   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1942 - 1970
1942   Ford l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford V-8 pump motor
Engine: Ford V-8, 60 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 3

Location:
1942   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 37, 2501 - 25th Street
1946   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1942 - 1946
1942    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Buffalo 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford V-8 pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP
1946: Converted by the SFFD Corporation Yard Shops to a Coffee Unit
            This unit is now part of the
Museum apparatus collection

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 4

Location:
1942   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 20, 2251 Greenwich Street
1955   Relocated to the temporary quarters at the Palace of Fine Arts
1956   May, returned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 20, 2251 Greenwich Street
1970   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1942 - 1970
1942    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford V-8 pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 5

Location:
1942   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 42, 2430 San Bruno Avenue
1970   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1942 - 1970
1942    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford V-8 pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 6

Location:
1942   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 27, 52 Waller Street
1950   Relocated to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 27, 135 Sanchez Street
1956   Relocated to the quarters of Truck Co. No. 18, 1935 - 32nd Avenue
1970   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1942 - 1970
1942    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford V-8 pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 7

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 7 - 1942 ChevroletLocation:
1942   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 31, 1088 Green Street
1952   August 7th, relocated to the quarters of Truck Co. No. 18, 1935 - 32nd Avenue
1956   Relocated to the quarters of Airport Station No. 1
1965   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1942 - 1965
1942    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Buffalo 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford V-8 pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP
Note the front non-chrome bumper due to the home requirements of World War II

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 8

Location:
1942   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 43, 724 Brazil Avenue
1970   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1942 - 1970
1942    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford V-8 pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 9

Location:
1942   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 32, 194 Park Street
1970   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1942 - 1970
1942    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Buffalo 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford V-8 pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 10

Location:
1942   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 49, 2155 - 18th Avenue
1970   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1942 - 1970
1942    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford V-8 pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 11

Location:
1952   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 45, 1348 - 45th Avenue
1956   Relocated to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 49, 2155 - 18th Avenue
1974   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1974
1952    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 78 HP Chrysler pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 12

Location:
1952   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 33, 117 Broad Street
1974   Relocated to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 33, 8 Capitol Avenue
1974   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1974
1952    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 78 HP Chrysler pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 13

Location:
1952   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 19, 1300 - 4th Street
1974   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1974
1952    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Champion 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 78 HP Chrysler pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 14

Location:
1952   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 43, 724 Brazil Avenue
1974   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1974
1952    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford V-8 pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 15

Location:
1952   Organized
1954   Relocated to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 30, 390 Buckingham Way
1967   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1967
1952    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 78 HP Chrysler pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP
1967: converted by the City & County of San Francisco Central Fire Shops to a Sand Truck 

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 16

Location:
1952   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 45, 1348 - 45th Avenue
1974   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1974
1952    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford V-8 pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 17

Location:
1952   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 47, 499 - 41st Avenue
1974   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1974
1952    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 78 HP Chrysler pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 18

Location:
1952   Organized
1954   Relocated to the new quarters of Engine Co. No. 30, 390 Buckingham Way
1974   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1974
1952    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 78 HP Chrysler pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 19

Location:
1952   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 36, 551 - 26th Avenue
1954   Relocated to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 47, 499 - 41st Avenue
1955   February, relocated to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 36, 551 - 26th Avenue
1970   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1970
1952    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 20

Location:
1952   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 24, 100 Hoffman Street
1958   August 16th, relocated to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 44, 3816 - 22nd Street
1958   August 22nd, relocated to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 24, 100 Hoffman Street
1974   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1974
1952    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 78 HP Chrysler pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 21

Location:
1952   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 1, 451 Pacific Street
1957   April 1st, relocated to the new quarters of Engine Co. No. 12, 115 Drumm Street
1974   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1974
1952    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford V-8 pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 22

Location:
1952   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 7, 3160 - 16th Street
1968   March 12th, relocated to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 7, 80 Digby Street
1974   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1974
1952    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Buffalo 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford V-8 pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 23

Location:
1952   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Truck Co. No. 12, 1757 Waller Street
1956   May 23rd, relocated to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 40, 1145 Stanyan Street
1974   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1974
1952    Chevrolet l ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford V-8 pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 24

Location:
1952   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 41, 1325 Leavenworth Street
1974   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1974
1952    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Buffalo 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 25

Location:
1952   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 48, 798 Wisconsin Street
1974   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1974
1952    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 78 HP Chrysler pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 26

Location:
1952   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 42, 2430 San Bruno Avenue
1974   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1974
1952    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford V-8 pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 27

Location:
1952   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 10, 3050 - 17th Street
1954   October 14th, relocated to the new quarters of Engine Co. No. 7, 2300 Folsom Street
1974   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1974
1952    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Buffalo 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 60 HP Ford pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 28

Location:
1952   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 26, 3767 Sacramento Street
1956   April 29th, relocated to the new quarters of Engine Co. No. 26, 655 Presidio Avenue
1974   Company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1974
1952    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 78 HP Chrysler pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP

Auxiliary Engine Co. No. 29

Location:
1952   Organized and assigned to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 18, 1298 Girard Street
1959   Relocated to the new quarters of Engine Co. No. 21, 1443 Grove Street
1970   July, company disbanded

Apparatus:
1952 - 1970
1952    Chevrolet l ½ ton Civil Defense auxiliary pumper with overhead ladder rack; enclosed cab with doors.
Pump: Hale 500 GPM single-stage centrifugal skid-mount with 78 HP Chrysler pump motor
Engine: Chevrolet 6-cylinder, 78 HP
1971: Converted by the City & County of San Francisco Central Fire Shops to a Diesel Fuel Unit  

Back to the Top