1,000 fire trucks and counting

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ned T. Johnston
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
It has been 25 years since Senior Master Sgt. James Thompson, 6th Civil Engineer Squadron deputy fire chief, joined the Air Force. Along the way, Thompson has fueled his passion for firefighting and the Air Force by collecting model fire trucks.

Thompson's love for firefighting and model fire trucks started when he was young.

"As a kid, I remember playing with [toy] fire trucks," said Thompson. "When I grew up, playing with the little cars wasn't as important to me; however, I still loved to collect them."

Thompson said he recalls starting his collection around the time he joined the Air Force.

"When I was an Airman, I remember having maybe 10 or 20 model trucks in my dorm room," said Thompson. "It wasn't long before the collection really started to grow."

Friends and family members heard that Thompson was starting a small collection and sent him fire trucks and other first responder "knick-knacks" for birthdays and holidays. With his collection starting to grow, Thompson started looking for trucks online and at collector shows.

"It was really exciting," said Thompson. "I was finding cool and unique trucks to add to what I had."

With every great collection there is always one item that stands out among the rest. For Thompson, it is a red aircraft rescue firefighting truck.

"This truck is really rare," exclaimed Thompson. "It was a limited edition truck that was only released in France. It was definitely my best find to date."

Notable parts of Thompson's collection include: fire trucks modeled after the Fire Department of New York's Engine 10, which were the first fire trucks on scene on 9/11; a complete collection of limited edition orange fire trucks; and fire trucks modeled after popular movies and TV shows such as "Code Red," "Emergency," and "Backdraft."

"What was a little hobby of mine [has become] an impressive collection," commented Thompson.

At last count, Thompson had more than 1,000 model trucks.