Benson Firemen tested their first pumper around 1907 On back: 1st fire engine. Benson firemen tested their first pumper around 1907. It was horse-drawn--the pump was powered by gasoline. The town purchased this equipment in 1907 and still owns it. It is said to have been the first of its kind in North Carolina. The water was pumped from cisterns in the four or five sites around town.