In Raleigh, firetruck is the new trend for a party bus

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In Raleigh, a firetruck is the new party bus.

Two Raleigh firefighters, Anthony Battaglia and Ryan Nelson, have brought a new party-bus to the Capital City, but, it's not a bus at all - it's a firetruck called Axes & Ales.

"We came up with the party bus with a firetruck idea," explained Co-Founder Anthony Battaglia. "Who doesn't want to ride a firetruck? So, we got the big red firetruck, put seats on the back and lights, some music, bring your own beer and have a good time!" he said.

Axes & Ales Engine #1 is a 1989 Grumman Firecat. The engine was originally purchased by the town of Belmont, North Carolina and served with the Catawba Heights Volunteer Fire Department until their merger with the Mount Holly Fire Department in 2000. Catawba Heights VFD and the Mount Holly Fire Department used the Firecat for fire suppression for nearly 26 years until it was retired from service in 2016. Ryan and Anthony purchased the Firecat in early 2017 and transformed the Firecat into a Partycat as Axes & Ales Engine #1.

For the two owners, this is more than just a business.

"I was 82nd Airborne," explained Co-Founder Ryan Nelson. "I served four and a half years in the U.S. Army. I deployed to Iraq in August 2006 to November 2007. Currently, I'm a professional fireman and I enjoy every minute of that. We hire current firemen and veterans only as of now. It's more than a business, this is a way of life for Anthony and I. We want to give back."

For Veteran's Day, Axes & Ales is offering a 10% discount on bookings and a 20% discount for veterans.

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