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Just a few fire trucks needed to break record

Greg Kempel is confident that he will witness history today when dozens and dozens of fire trucks, old and new, course their way through Casselton, N.D.

Kempel, the owner of Maple River Winery, and the push behind the city's effort to set the world record for the longest fire truck parade, said Friday afternoon that only two or three trucks were needed to break the record of 159 set in Oberdiessbach, Switzerland, in 2006.

And, he said, last-minute pitches were going out to fire departments around the region and even in surrounding states to add the few needed trucks.

"Pretty much every single fire department from Grand Forks (N.D.) to the South Dakota border has checked in, at least in the (Red River) Valley," Kempel said.

The parade is part of the town's Summerfest celebration today in Casselton. The festival's annual Grand Parade will line up in town and begin first. The fire trucks will line up at the end of that parade and follow it through town.

Kempel said fire trucks are coming from as far away as 400 miles, prompting some of the trucks to take off Friday morning.

"Dover (Minn.) took off at 6 a.m. just so that they could get here," Kempel said Friday.

He said that participants will be driving fire trucks ranging in age from 1904 to 2009.

Kempel said some of the fire departments he's talked to are excited because they see it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in such an effort.

Participation must be carefully documented to satisfy Guinness Book of World Records rules, Kempel said. Each entry must have been able to put out a fire or to have been in service, each truck must travel at least two miles in the parade and they can't be more than two vehicle lengths apart.

This is a list of fire departments, and others, who committed to participating in the Cass County Summerfest's attempt to set the world record for the longest fire truck parade.

Organizer Greg Kempel said this isn't a complete list, but it is the most current list available on the festival's Web site,

South Dakota

Aberdeen, Belle Fourche, Claremont, Colman, Goodwin, Milbank, Watertown

North Dakota

Abercrombie, Adams, Argusville, Arthur, Barney, Binford, Bowbells, Brocket-Lawton, Buffalo, Buxton, Casselton, Cayuga Colfax, Cooperstown, Davenport, Durbin, Dwight, Edgeley, Ellendale, Fargo, Fingal, Finley, Firehouse Pub (Wahpeton), Forman, Gackle, Grandin, Gwinner, Hankinson, Harvey, Harwood, Hatton, Hillsboro, Horace, Inkster, Jamestown, Kindred, Larimore, Leeds, Leonard, Lidgerwood, Lignite, Mapleton, Mayville, Milnor, Mohall, Mooreton, Nome, Northwood, Oakes, Pembina, Portland, Reynolds, Rutland, Sanborn, Thompson, Tower City, Underwood, Valley City, Verona, Wahpeton, Walhalla, West Fargo, Wyndmere


Barnesville, Beardsley, Breckenridge, Browns Valley, Climax, Clinton, Dover, Dumont, Graceville, Halstad, Hendrum, Lake Park, Menahga, Motley, Nielsville, Ogema, Ortonville, Pelican Rapids, Perham, Perley/Lee Township, Shelly, Staples, Wheaton, White Earth

Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt contributed to this story