|New Market Volunteers Reunited with their 1984 Mack|
|By Fire Chief Benjamin Nalborczyk|
|March 16, 2020|
In the early 1980s under the leadership of Chief Bill Stem, it was thought there was a need for a new/additional pumper in the New Market District Volunteer Fire Company's fleet and Chief Stem had a vision of an amazing one at that, however this unit would not come to life without much pushback and disbelief, however Chief Stem never lost his vision and pressed on to lead the purchase of what will most likely go down in history as New Market District VFC's Best Pumper ever, Chief Stem and his team spent countless hours writing specifications, planning and working hard to raise the necessary funds to make the purchase complete. They would birth a 1984 Mack CF equipped with a Mack 300hp motor, 1250GPM and 1000 Gallon Water Tank, this unit would also serve to be the first fully enclosed cab in Frederick County, Maryland. Upon delivery the truck ran and performed just as well as it looked with its distinct Mack personality, it was also rumored to be close to one of the last fully Mack fire engines built.
Through the 1980s and early 1990s this very Mack fire engine known as Engine-153 would serve the New Market and surrounding communities very well, many of Volunteers, Part-Time and Full-Time Frederick DFRS Staff would grow to love the unit and develop many fond memories. The unit most famously known for its cranky 5 speed transmission accompanied by an air throttle known to bring many "fire engine drivers" to their knees. In the mid 1990s it was thought that the Mack had much life in it still but needed a little refreshing, so the department voted to send the unit for a rehab, Keystone Fire Apparatus of Pennsylvania was selected for the job. Upon return of the unit it was decided to have it assigned as Engine-252 from our Green Valley Sub-Station as Frederick County Tax Funds had provided a new unit to serve as Engine-153 which would later be known as Rescue Engine-153 thus birthing the Rescue Service concept from Station-15. Luckily, from time to time when a piece of pumping apparatus from Company-15 was Out of Service or the 2nd Ambulance was out the Mack was brought back to Company-15 to serve the Fire Suppression needs, many personnel wished it would never have to go back to Green Valley, this pattern would continue into the early 2000s.
As once again the Frederick County Tax Funds had provided another piece of frontline apparatus thus providing a 2004 Pierce Dash Engine-Tanker known as Engine-Tanker-254 for the Green Valley Sub-Station it was decided that the company should explore selling the 1984 Mack to make room for the first and only Engine-Tanker to serve from the Green Valley station, this was met with just as much controversy as the purchase of the unit if not more, however the decision to sell was carried out, the unit was originally sold to the Arnold Family of Carroll Manor, who then later sold the unit to a Fire Department in Texas, who until this day remains a mystery. Then later sold to the Jimtown Volunteer Fire Company of Burneyville, Oklahoma where is served until 2020.
The unit being reunited with the department serves as a unique story to go down in department history, many members had often talked and wondered about the whereabouts of the Mack, however, Fire Chief Nalborczyk had made it a personal mission of the last 15+ years to attempt to track down the unit after countless website searches, Ebay searches, Social Media searches and the assistance of many friends and resources it appeared that the Mack had disappeared into an unknown fate. On Wednesday February 19th while preparing his Fire Chief's Board of Directors report the department's info email inbox got a strange email, it read something along the lines of "I have found an old Engine of yours that is for sale, I'm a Mack fan and a huge advocate for 9/11 and FDNY, I hear rumor this unit used to be yours and it went to Ground Zero" without any hesitation the Fire Chief found himself in deep investigation mode, examining the attached pictures over and over again as if it couldn't be true, a lead on what had become a cold case search was in front of his very eyes with just enough information for the Fire Chief to get those in the room with him working on finding where the unit was located, with no delay a department Facebook account was located and a Point of Contact found which ultimately led us to Chief Crook Burton of Jimtown VFC, very excitedly contacting Chief Burton and in just a few moments laying the entire life story of the unit and how much it would mean to have it back, Chief Burton agrees to sell the unit back to the department. Fire Chief Nalborczyk tells Chief Burton I need nothing more then an hour and I will be back in touch one way or the next, however not purchasing it was not an option even if he had to himself. Fire Chief Nalborczyk made a presentation to the Board of Directors who unanimously voted to purchase the unit back for the asking price of Jimtown VFC. Fire Chief Nalborczyk contacted Fire Chief Burton and the sale was finalized. Members of the Board of Directors along with the Fire Chief would make a long twenty (20) hour drive to see the unit the first weekend in March as they wanted to have it back for their 65th Anniversary Banquet which was ruined by the COVID-19 epidemic, with breath taken away the members were absolutely besides themselves to see the unit again for the first time in over 15 years at Jimtown VFC, the decision was made to trailer the unit back to New Market, which is being done currently.
The department does not plan to ever have the Mack fire engine see frontline service again but however to hold onto the unit as a piece of our departments rich history and have it available for displays, parades, funerals and many other functions within the department. Over the next couple of months the department will be returning the lettering to that of the condition of the 1990s rehab as well as cleaning, shining and giving the unit the mechanical TLC that it needs to make many appearances in the 2020 Fireman's Parade circuit.
It is with the utmost pride that as Fire Chief I bring home Engine-153, the Mack.