WILTON, Conn. (AP) - Wilton Fire Lt. Brian Elliot has been collecting model fire trucks for 15 years. He's got trucks of all sizes, from all different decades and from all over. Now, he can add a model of one of Wilton's own trucks to his collection.
"Long story short ... I was at a collectors show and I asked (a Mattel representative) how they find the trucks they use," Elliot said. "They said they were always looking for ins to departments to use their trucks."
The representative Elliot met that day in North Haven roughly a year and a half ago directed him to someone at Matchbox, and Matchbox asked to see all of Wilton's vehicles. Matchbox eventually settled on Truck 5, a ladder truck, and began working with Elliot and the rest of the Wilton Fire Department to get the truck made.
"Once they picked the truck and they liked it, they needed additional photos, details, stuff like that," Elliot said. "Their design team looked at the ladder truck, but their mold wasn't exactly the same as the truck."
Once the details were sent along and another mold was made -- fire trucks are custom built on a truck-by-truck basis, so no two are exactly the same -- the end result is a faithful representation of Truck 5, only at 1/87 scale and sold in stores worldwide.
"I think it's quite interesting. As a young lad, I grew up playing with Matchboxes. I can appreciate one of the trucks at the place I work being turned into a Matchbox," said Fire Chief Paul Milositz.
Recently, the fire department received a small number of the trucks ahead of their appearance in stores. Elliot said the trucks are starting to be sold in stores, as well.
"It's kind of cool for all the firefighters. They all have a little model keepsake of one of the trucks they use. It's not something a lot of departments have or do," said Elliot, who also noted that it would be nice for the firefighters' children and grandchildren to have a replica of one of the trucks their parent or grandparent worked on.
As the truck will be sold worldwide, it will not just be friends, relatives and Wilton residents cwith the chance to get their hands on the trucks. Kids fond of Matchbox cars and collectors, much like Elliot, will have the opportunity to own them, too.
"It's kind of a neat thing. I have one right here on my desk, as a matter of fact. Out of all the departments possible to be looked at . I thought it was pretty great," Milositz said.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Three juveniles were arrested in connection with the Danbury mall disturbance on Black Friday.
The Connecticut Police Chiefs Association says Newtown police responded rapidly and followed current policy at last year's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
According to "Feeding America," around 33 million adults and 16 million children live in households that are "food insecure."
This is the time of year that car/deer accidents really spike here in Connecticut. It's deer mating season and that means this is the most likely time of year for you to hit one with your car.
A new mom is speaking out about breastfeeding rights after she was asked to leave a local courtroom while she was feeding her baby.
Waterbury's "Holy Land" was once a biblical amusement park where an iconic cross rested. The land has been neglected for years and now a restoration project underway.
Yesterday the 911 calls from the tragic Sandy Hook shooting were released and people are still talking about the train derailment in the Bronx; a topic that hits too close to home. Many of you felt strong enough about these two things to …
Promising results for a cancer drug at the center of a clinical trial in our state.
How often do you change your computer passwords? And how many numbers do you use in it? These questions may seem boring but more than 2 million people are now debating them after their accounts were hacked.
Two of the state's largest medical associations are awaiting word from a federal judge on their effort to stop United Health Care from dropping thousands of Connecticut doctors from United Health Care's Medicare Advantage plan.