After this humble beginning, the fire crew, now under the auspices of the Duxford
Aviation Society grew fairly rapidly, with the second fire appliance, a Landrover
ACR(T)II, NJE489R being acquired in 1976. This appliance had previously served in
the Royal Air Force, and had a local connection, being based at RAF Oakington for
many years, making the regular journey to Waterbeach and back, which was used by
the stations Varsity aircraft as a relief landing ground.
During the latter half of 1978 two further Thorneycroft / Sun appliances were obtained
from the British Airports Authority, one being a Foam Tender, SXT 107 and the other
a Water Tender (Foam), SXT 115, which was broken for spares. The Foam Tender was
totally rebuilt by the fire crews and following a re-spray by one of the members,
became operational late in 1979.
Other fire appliances were acquired over the years, two most notable being donations,
one from Cambridgeshire County Council, and the other by the States of Jersey.
The crew members grew over the years also with over 30 DAS Fire Service personnel
at its peak, during the early to mid 1990’s. The heyday of the DAS Fire Service was
most definitely the mid to late 1980’s.
During this time some of the volunteers decided it might be a good idea to have a
Fire Engine Category in the annual Military Vehicle display. The first event took
place in 1981, and continued to eventually become a stand-alone venue. These events
proved to be extremely popular, and grew ultimately too big for the DAS Fire Service
to handle, proving to be a huge strain on staff and resources.