Also See: MGVFC History in Pics
In the late 1920’s there was a disastrous fire on the site of which is now the Maugansville Planning Mill. Since there wasn’t any fire protection for the village of Maugansville, the nearest fire department was called in Hagerstown.
As a result of that fire, and due to lack of fire protection, Mr. William C. Maugans (a descendant of the founding Maugans Family) assembled the young men of the village together to discuss the problem. They met in what would be the first fire station, a garage next to the Maugansville Shirt Factory. This building is still standing. It is located next to the small apartment building on Eby Lane. As a result of their meeting, they would form a volunteer fire company.
The next hurdle was figuring out exactly how they would extinguish the fires. A lot of discussion evolved with many ideas from bucket bridgades to a fire engine. Ultimately, they decided to purchase an engine.
As the fire company was being formed, a 1928 Model AA Ford truck with roughly a 250 GPM front mount pump was ordered. The truck was delivered by railroad and unloaded at the Maugansville Elevator & Lumber Company. The body was built and installed locally by Mr. John Risser, a well known cabinet maker. It was housed at the fire station on Eby Lane, which was formerly named Stouffer Avenue.
Firefighting tactics in the early days were less than desirable. The fire engine would lay hose from the water source, usually a cistern or pond, then return to the water source and pump to the fire. Training came from firefighters in Hagerstown and the University of Maryland.
The area was primarily a farming community. However, when business and industry started to grow, the fire company did as well. Fairchild Republic moved to the area increasing the need for a larger fire company. They quickly outgrew the small garage and larger quarters were needed. The Maugans Family was still active with the company and the station was relocated to a barn at the present site on Maugansville Road, formerly Main Street.
The company continued to meet the needs of the community. During W.W.II a booster tank was added to the 1928 Model AA Ford. In 1946, a 1946 Ford with a front mount pump was purchased. In 1956 a three bay addition was added to the barn. Also in 1956, a 1959 Ford with a front mount pump was added to the fleet. Along with the growing community, the company continued to grow. In the mid-60s Mack Trucks industry came to the area, city water was installed, and a 1964 GMC/American triple combination pumper was added as the fourth pumper.
Due to the lack of water systems in much of the farming community, the county’s first tanker was added to the Maugansville fleet in the mid-60s. A 1959 Ford truck equipped with a a 1,000-gallon tank, formerly used by Showalter Implements, was also added. The tanker was donated by the Mennonite community and much of the fabrication work was done by the Maugansville membership and surrounding businesses.
In 1971, the 1928 Model AA Ford fire engine was officially retired from service being replaced by a 1971 GMC/American triple combination pumper. The station was remodeled and a new three bay engine room was added. The only engine room was remodeled into our current banquet room.
In 1972/1973 the company was planning for a new tanker. A 1974 “R” model Mack Tanker was purchased with a 2,700-gal
lon tank and a 1,000 GPM front mounted pump. This would be the counties first large capacity tanker. During the planning stages of the tanker the company decided on a color change from an all red apparatus to our current and most distinctive orange and white color scheme.
In 1976, Engine 132, the 1964 GMC, was involved in a terrible accident while responding to a fire. They were traveling across Garden View Road (formerly Salem Road). As they were trying to determine the location of the fire, by the glow in the sky, they were not watching the road and came to the end of Garden View Road at the intersection of Rt. 58. They attempted to make the turn and failed. The engine crossed Cearfoss Pike, hit a dirt embankment and flipped onto its roof in the cornfield. Nobody was seriously injured. E-132 was repaired and returned to service painted the new orange and white color scheme.
Sometime during the 70’s, the company had decided to color code helmets. For many, many years it was always known that the Fire Chief wore a white helmet. However, this meant that the other officers were not easily picked out of a crowd. The officers and members of the Maugansville Fire Company took the initiative to color the helmets of all their officers. All Chief officers would wear white, Captains would wear red, and Lieutenants would wear blue. This became the countywide standard. As well as the firefighter accountability system and the latch strap program that was started by this company in the mid 80s.
In 1984-85 much of the older apparatus was starting to breakdown frequently due to its age. The rising cost of maintaining the older apparatus was increasing rapidly. New standards were starting to appear from the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) for apparatus’; one being that firefighters should no longer ride of the rear tailboard of their apparatus. Plans were drawn for a 1986 Seagrave that would have a 1500 GPM pump, carry 1,000 gallons of water, and seat six seat belted firefighters in a fully enclosed cab. This would be the first four-door, fully enclosed cab in Washington County. During this same time the company purchased a 1980 Ford/Emergency Once pumper that has a 1,000 GPM pump and a 500 gallon booster tank from the Funkstown Volunteer Fire Company. This engine had an open jump-seat area and could seat three firefighters in seat belts, a driver, and an officer in the cab. The Line Officers at this time felt confident to outlaw the riding of firefighters on the rear step of any apparatus owned and operated by the MGVFC.
After two years of planning, the company approved the purchase of a new Rescue Squad to replace the aging 1980 GMC Step Van. This $247,000.00 unit was delivered on October 29, 1999. The apparatus carries a wide variety of specialized equipment to be used in extrication of persons from anything from a vehicle crash to a confined space situation. The new Rescue Squad 13 carried a Kinman combination tools and ram kit. In 2001, that system was replaced with a Genesis high-pressure hydraulic system consisting of a Combination Tool, Spreaders, 10″ T-Rex cutters, pedal cutters, 21″ Ram, 2-42″ Rams and 1-16″ Ram. This system has more than paid for itself in the m any extrications it has been used on.
In March of 2002, we received a 2002 Pierce Enforcer to replace the existing E-One pumper. The old E-One was sold to a fire company in Mountainburg, Arkansas. It will be fighting fire in the heart of the Ozark Mountains.
In October of 2002, we placed an order for a 2003 Ford Crown Victoria off of the Maryland State Contract. Car 13 went into service in January of 2003 acting as a Duty Officer Vehicle.
In 2005, the department found themselves in need of a utility vehicle, capable of hauling personnel, running EMS calls, pulling trailers, and plowing snow. A 2005 Ford F350 was purchased and it still used daily for many activities including transporting Firefighters to classes and training.
Once again, in 2008, there was a purchase of a new engine. A 2008 Pierce Impel, pump under cab, engine was placed in service becoming our front line engine for structure fires.
After many years of service, Car 13 was taken out of service in 2014 and replaced with our most recent addition, a 2014 Chevy Tahoe Duty Officer/Command vehicle.