1924 Seagrave Model 560 Triple Combination Pumper
On August 29, 1923 the members of the fire company met and unanimously voted to purchase a new and larger piece of apparatus. In November of 1923 the fire company placed an order with the Seagrave Fire Apparatus, Inc. Company for a Model 560 Triple Combination Pumper. The unit’s cost was 11,500 dollars. This unit was equipped with Seagrave six cylinder motor with 130 brake horse power, a 500 gallon a minute pump, a hose bed capable of holding 1000 feet of 2 ½ inch hose and a 40 gallon chemical tank with 200 feet of ¾ inch chemical hose. It also was equipped with a connection from the pump to the chemical hose so that water could also be pumped through the chemical hose. This would be Bel Air’s first “preconnected” hose line from the pump, but not its last. The unit also had three hard suction sleeves, a right hand pump panel and a right hand drive. It was pained a cream color and had solid disc type wheels with white wall tires.
The engine was delivered to Baltimore on February 26, 1924 by rail. A Seagrave factory man drove the new engine to Bel Air from Baltimore for final delivery. Upon delivery the unit had to be stored temporarily at the Harford Garage because the fire station on Main Street was undergoing renovations so that the new engine would actually fit in the station. It was moved from the Harford Garage to the Main Street Station on April 30, 1924.
For several years the engine was the largest and most powerful in Harford and Cecil counties. The unit was taken too many parades and carnivals where it won many trophies and awards. Fire companies came from across the state to view this new piece of apparatus and to witness its performance while pumping. In 1927 the Fire Rescue Company of Cambridge purchased a Seagrave pumper after seeing a demonstration of the Bel Air engine.
The Susquehanna Power and Light Company also paid an annual fee to the fire company so they could be assured of the services of the “mighty” engine if it were ever to be needed at the Conowingo Dam. The engine answered many calls for assistance on numerous occasions throughout the years it was in service.
The engine experienced major mechanical problems in 1929 and underwent a major rebuild in November of 1929 and at that time was repainted fire engine red to match the new 1929 GMC American LaFrance pumper that had been recently purchased by the fire company. The engine served until 1940 when, along with the 1929 GMC American LaFrance, it was traded in on a 1938 45 Series Mack Pumper.