Your Town Stevens Point: Restoring original SPFD fire truck

Your Town Stevens Point
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 1:25 AM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - “I love this old equipment.”

Ray Oksuita has a history of restoring old fire engines. The former firefighter for the Rosholt Volunteer Fire Department helped resurrect one of their old trucks.

“I thought, Rosholt used to have a 1935 Ford fire truck,” said Oksuita. “And I wondered, ‘whatever happened to that thing?’ It took me 7 years between tracking it down and retaining ownership as of last year.”

Now he’s turned his focus to the Stevens Point Fire Department’s original truck from 1916. Nick Somers’ uncle tracked it down at a junkyard long ago. They had it up and running for a short while, but the last 4-to-5 years it’s been sitting in storage.

“He has the passion and he has the knowledge,” said Somers, who owns the fire truck. “He’s (Ray) worked on steam engines and he’s worked on things that, you’d say, ‘they’re never going to run.’ It’s going to take some time, but we’re going to keep working on it.”

“I’m the type of guy, who, once I get going on something that get is spinning in my head and it don’t want to stop,” Oksuita said.

Ray says he’ll have just about all the parts rounded up for the project in the next two years.

“It’s cool to be able to honor the legacy of firefighters past and present by bringing this history back to life,” said John Harry, Executive Director of the Portage County Historical Society.

It will eventually be housed at station number 2.

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