2R Fire Truck Scheming Update

August 2, 2007

Yesterday, I ran an errand near the used car dealer who also sells used fire engines. Gathering up all my courage (as I’m still struggle with my desire when younger not to let people know I’m an idiot), I went in to ask about renting a fire engine to impress my granddaughter (who knows she is a fire chief).

The owner, named Terry, was in, and reacted to my query with amiable good humor. He told me that it costs $50 to rent a fire engine for a day (plus gas, which I imagine adds to the cost considerably these days). He said fire engines are rented by people doing some burning on private property.

“I frequently get requests from people who want to rent one for their child’s birthday party, but I usually have to turn them down. The liability issues are just too difficult.

“The children always want to climb all over it and play with everything and turn all the dials and pull all the knobs. There are sharp objects, and they can hurt themselves; it’s a working fire engine, and they can break vital parts.

“However, if you make arrangements in advance, so I can be sure I will be here, you can bring your granddaughter and she can climb in the driver’s seat and turn the steering wheel. You can do that for free.”

When I talked to my Daughter out of Law last night, I told her that we should make such an arrangement for the next time they visit. We would meet them at the car lot and all share the fire truck experience with Random Granddaughter.

However, I am still scheming. First, I want to see if RG really gets a kick out of being on a fire engine. Adults often think they know what children want, and arrange something for them, and then get all bent out of shape if the children  don’t react as the adults want them to.

Second, I think most of Terry’s objections could be met by hiring him to drive the fire truck to RG’s preschool. He could supervise the children’s use of the fire truck; RG cold happily gloat about “her” fire truck and show it off to the rest of the children, and Grandpa could quietly gloat in the background and sneer at Grandma, who thinks his idea is crazy. I figure with the gas and Terry’s time and the ferry tolls, etc. we’re probably talking about $400 or $500 dollars for a day of fire truck fun.

Also, I am a thinking about something to sell to the readers of my blog to help raise money for the “Spoil Random Granddaughter (but just a little bit) Fund.” More about that in a bit.

11 Responses to “2R Fire Truck Scheming Update”

  1. Cameron Says:

    Sounds like your plan is coming to fruition!!

  2. jennymac Says:

    Hi, Mr. Random! I’ve been gone and obviously missed some genuine brilliance here. This is a fantastic idea… the going to the dealership for a look, touch, drive experience (and a grand photo opportunity, as well). Even if RG doesn’t want to actually climb up onto the truck, it’s still a fantastic idea. (She will need her gear, right?) I took my boys to the fire station and one cried because the other beat him into the driver’s seat… sheesh.) FTL, jen

  3. modestypress Says:


    The berries are ripe. I don’t know if the plan is yet.


    You only missed the false brilliance. You arrived back in time for the genuine stuff. I’ve been holding it for you.

    I am sure RG will bring her gear. Probably she will want to climb up onto the truck if we tell her she can’t. On the other hand, as she is so bright, she will then conclude that when we tell her she can’t do something, it really means that she can. Oh, wait, that’s what teenagers do anyway. This needs work. In the meantime, as soon as I figure out all the icons on our camera (obviously manufactured by ancient Egyptians because all the buttons are controlled by hieroglyphics) I will try to get some blurry pictures.

  4. Ela Says:

    it is so obvious she is the love of your life, the granddaughter! I remember my dad when he played with my son and would do anything for him, even leaving his country and starting over in another. This is beautiful, this love.

  5. I’ll contribute to the fund, if you promise to post pictures.

  6. Jenny Says:

    They have to let her up on and into the truck…. it’s the law… you know, the Little Kid Visiting a Firetruck Law… you may need some backup. FTL, jen

  7. Leeza Says:

    I can tell you 2 things:

    1. Usually in Oregon they have “Big Truck Day” at local public schools and the fire, police, tow trucks, construction vehicles, etc….they all show up to allow school kids climb on, play on, explore, have pictures on, etc….and parents (and Grandparents) can come & enjoy the kids excitement!

    2. I was looking at “Fire Engines” online because I am considering selling one that I won in a contest from “Engine House Pizza” – it came to my house ON TOP of a real fire engine on Christmas morning. It has a Briggs & Stratton motor, forward, reverse, neutral, small ladders on the back, a “fire” (garden) hose on a wheel & a bell you can ring. It’s adorable and can go 5-10 miles per hour. It would fit in the back of a pick up bed – seats 2. I just started talking about selling it – I think that we have been offered $1800 a few years ago. It’s shinny & beautiful RED…..if your dream/vision goes this far for your Grandchild – e-mail me and we can talk. I live near Portland, Oregon.

  8. Michelle Says:

    You should consider renting it out and you could make some money. My little boy would love a fire truck to come for his birthday party. I’m sure other people would like it too. How much are you selling it for

  9. Amber Guy Says:

    My husband and I rent our fire truck out for birthday parties, parades, corporate training and more. I don’t know where you are located but businesses like ours are reasonable ways to have a creative birthday party. Plus, we worry about the fuel, the driver and employ real fire fighters! 🙂

  10. Jason Says:

    Good sir, might you have the info for Terry? I was looking into renting a fire truck for our wedding for a few photo ops. Thanks so much.

  11. Amber Guy Says:

    Our website is http://www.oldcrackerfirecompany.com – we are located in Tampa, FL but know of companies around the US who provide similar services. Drop us an email and we’ll see if we can help!

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