|The City of Alhambra is situated at the western end of the San Gabriel Valley just a few miles from
downtown Los Angeles . The Alhambra Fire Department, formed in 1906, serves an area of just under
8 square miles with a population of nearly 85,000 out of four stations.
During the Crown era, several southern California cities had their fire departments equipped with fleets
composed entirely of Crown apparatus. The City of Alhambra was also loyal to a single brand of
apparatus, in this case, Mack.
Chris Arnold shares this historic anecdote with us:
With all of this apparatus at Azusa, they had a good size station.....it was a duplicate to Alhambra
Headquarters, just mirrored.......both Chief Ludt from Alhambra and Chief Torrance from Azusa were
two peas in a pod. Both Bald as bald can be, both jokers, both best of friends, and both fisherman, full
of tails.......I believe they split the architect's fees and used the same floor and yard plans. They both
painted all of the rigs on their watch white.......the only difference Chief Torrance went with all Crowns,
and Chief Ludt went with white CF Macks. Chief Torrance got all of the rigs switched on his watch, and
Chief Ludt with four stations could only get the path laid out. It was several years later that the last White
CF Macks were purchased, after his death. Another interesting fact, both departments got surveys for
LA County, only Azusa went with it. Alhambra got two more surveys since and remained its own.