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N.D. town believes it set record for fire trucks in parade

CASSELTON, N.D. - As a fire chief from a small North Dakota town, Rick Hansen has steered fire trucks through his fair share of parades.

"But not like this," he said Saturday.

Hundreds of rain-soaked spectators cheered on Hansen as he piloted a Reynolds Fire Department tanker, its lights flashing and horn honking, on a record-breaking run through this city.

Unofficially, 181 fire trucks took part in the special segment of the Cass County Summerfest parade. That should be enough to break the Guinness Book of World Records mark for largest parade of fire trucks, set in April 2006 in Switzerland with 159 trucks.

"We shattered it," said Greg Kempel, the Casselton ambulance crew member and winery owner who led the effort.

Organizers got a huge response after local media outlets reported Friday that the effort was still two trucks short of the record, Kempel said.

"We came up with 25 trucks in less than 24 hours," he said.

To comply with Guinness rules, organizers photographed every truck, and drivers had to sign a registration form, which had to be notarized by Summerfest chairman Ron Mueller.

The documentation will be sent to Guinness judges by overnight mail Monday, and organizes hope to have it confirmed as a world record soon, Kempel said.