1938 Mack Type 45 Pumper
On March 5, 1940 the order was placed with the Mack Truck Corporation of Baltimore for a Mack Type 45 Pumper. The cost of the pumper was three thousand eight hundred and seventy five dollars plus the trade in of the 1924 Seagrave Pumper and the 1929 GMC American LaFrance Pumper.
At the March 1, 1940 fire company meeting there was much discussion and consideration about the need for a “rural” piece of apparatus. The discussion centered on the age of the present apparatus and the prohibitive cost of rebuilding and outfitting the present unit for rural calls. It was decided to purchase a new fire engine for use in rural communities.
According to Mack Factory Chassis records and the arrival of the engine in Bel Air within 30 days of the order, it is believed that this unit was a demonstrator. The unit saw its first action on April 1, 1940 at the Farlow Motors Building Fire. It is interesting to note that this unit and the 1940 Mack Type 50 arrived in Bel Air within days of each other and both saw their first action at the Farlow Motors Building fire.
The pumper was equipped with a Hale Two Stage Class B 500 GPM pump, 150 gallon booster tank, booster reel of 150 feet of ¾ inch hose, 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. Within a year of its delivery a steel tank extension was added to the unit to increase the booster tank size to 250 gallons. A 35 foot extension ladder was also added in a custom “A” frame mounted over the hose bed.
On November 25, 1941, while enroute to Darlington for a fire at the Thomas residence, the unit was involved in an accident at the Hickory intersection when it was run off the road into a tree. The chassis was so badly damaged that the unit had to rechassised. There was one problem with the rechassis as within two weeks the start of America’s involvement in World War II would begin. Because of the start of the war, the federal government would have to authorize Mack to replace the chassis. Authorization was received with the help of Senator Millard Tydings due to the fact that Bel Air’s only other apparatus at the time was the 1940 Mack Type 50 pumper and the fire company was not only serving Bel Air but a large portion of Harford County.
When the apparatus was repaired it technically became a 1942 Mack Type 45, although the 1938 body was reused in the repair. It returned to service at Bel Air on March 28, 1942. It served the fire company until 1947 when it was sold to the Fountaindale Volunteer Fire Department of Adams County, Pennsylvania.