South Metro Firefighter buys fire truck he first sat in as a child

9NEWS at 6 p.m. 10/21/16.

LITTLETON - You haven't had a childhood if you haven't at least just once - sat in the seat of a firetruck.

It inspires kids everywhere to be firefighters.

That dream doesn't come true too often - but it did for one firefighter and he owes it all to that truck.

Eric Hurst, the public information officer for South Metro Fire Rescue Authority, says since he can remember, he's always wanted to be a firefighter.

"I was infatuated with the fire department, Castlewood was always the trucks that I had seen so I visited the fire station a lot with my parents," Hurst said. 

If you're not from around here, Castlewood is now South Metro Fire Rescue.For a kid growing up in Littleton, there was just something about those trucks, but the bright-red one always stood out.

"I remember how big the steering wheel felt and how the front-seat kind of felt like a couch because it was so big," Hurst said. "It was one of the unique ones because it was specifically designed to respond to airline crashes at the airport so it's very much a one of a kind."

The 1970's Imperial was taken out of service in 2000. In that time, Hurst started working for South Metro and he lost track of his favorite truck.

Then one day - more than two decades after he first sat in it he saw the truck for sale online.

"Immediately I had a flash back, back to when I was a kid on the front seat of that and I can't, you know, explain how big the steering wheel felt as a child looking at it," said Hurst. "It didn't have the labels on it, it didn't have the old lights on it, but I could identify it immediately.

"So I called the dealership and told them that I needed to get it," he said.

And he did for the 13,000 dollars. Hurst had the old Castlewood Fire Department decals made for it and he slapped them back on.

"It's in great shape, just old," Hurst said.

One of Hurst's favorite things about the truck is its history.

"The truck was at Centennial Airport at an air show and the firefighter was driving it, and a prop aircraft made a turn unexpectedly - and the propeller came into the side of the cab of the truck. It partially destroyed the cab of the truck," Hurst told Next.

The firefighter driving it at the time wasn't hurt at all. The truck had to be rebuilt. The original door and pieces of the old cab are still at Station 35.

So what's next?

Hurst plans to take the truck to parades and events in hopes it might inspire another young firefighter fan.  

"It's exciting for me to be able to kind of give back to the kids who are on the street watching and maybe have the same mindset that I do and maybe one day own their own," Hurst said.

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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