At the end of the war, the Fire Department finally received its long-awaited aerial ladder. The truck, a 1946 Seagrave tractor-drawn, 85-foot aerial vehicle, had a tiller man’s rear steering position and a 12-cylinder engine. It was shipped by rail from Wisconsin to the rail yard on Ann Street. The purchase price was $22,500.
Changes in Working Hours The department experienced several reductions in working hours after World War II. Firefighters first went to a staggering system that gave them 74-hour work weeks. In 1950, a three-platoon system with 56-hour work weeks was put into effect. The work hour reductions increased the size of the department and brought a large influx of World War II veterans into the department.
Additional Truck Purchases The department purchased four Ward LaFrance 750 gallons per minute (gpm) pumpers between 1949 and 1953 to replace the 1920s models. In 1956, the department received its second tractor-drawn aerial, an 85-foot model from American LaFrance. Finally, two American LaFrance 750 gpm pumpers were added to the fleet between 1957 and 1959.
On May 22, 1945, Norwalk firefighters unionized and were awarded a charter designating them as Local 830 of the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF). In 1957, a four-platoon, 42-hour work week was approved by Norwalk voters. This was the result of a successful campaign by the union to put a work week referendum on the ballot. These work week changes brought the size of the department up to 105 officers and men.