1940 Mack Type 50 Pumper
Engine 1 (1940), Engine 31 (1960), Engine 37 (1970), Engine 317 (1972)
On December 26, 1939 the order was placed with the Mack Truck Corporation of Baltimore for a Mack Type 50 Pumper. The pumper was purchased by the Town of Bel Air for the fire company at a cost of approximately six thousand dollars. The pumper was always referred to as “The Little Mack” or ‘Town Truck” due to the fact that it was to remain in town to answer any alarms that were received. It did, however, respond to calls out of town in the event the other pumper is on another call or is out of commission for some reason.
The pumper was equipped with a Hale Two Stage Class B 500 GPM pump, 100 gallon booster tank, booster reel of 150 feet of ¾ inch hose mounted in the rear of the unit, 1200 feet of 2 ½ inch hose, a 24 foot extension ladder and a 14 foot roof ladder. It also carried all the necessary appliances and tools.
The unit arrived in Bel Air at the end of March 1940, and along with the 1938 Mack, its first call was on April 1, 1940 at the Farlow Motors Building fire. The unit served the fire company as an active piece of apparatus until February 2, 1972 where its last call would be the Main Street Groundhog Day fire where it served in the capacity of the air unit.
In February of 1976 it was decided to donate the unit to the Fire Museum of Maryland as space at the fire station was becoming an issue. The agreement was that the unit would be kept in god running condition so we could borrow it for parades, funerals, etc. When a former Assistant Chief passed away, the fire company asked for the unit to be made available for the funeral. The fire company was told that it would take too long to get it ready, thus another unit had to be used in the funeral. The fire company notified the fire museum that we would be retaking possession of the unit. In December of 2001 the unit was returned to the fire company from the museum. Since its return, it has been kept in excellent running order and has appeared in many parades, dedications and funerals.
It should also be noted that the unit appears in many photographs with two large floodlights mounted behind the driver and officer. These lights were never permanently mounted on the unit, but were placed there when the unit was having photos taken.
The unit is currently housed at the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company Patterson Mill Station.