HISTORY OF HEBRON FIRE DEPARTMENT
A Volunteer Organization
The Hebron Volunteer Fire Department was formed in 1926 and a new brick building was constructed. The cost of the fire house was approximately $8,000.00. To raise the needed monies to build the fire station and purchase fire equipment, the original members ran a carnival, which is still in existence today. The proceeds from the first carnival were used to pay for the fire house construction and purchase their first piece of fire apparatus.
In 1926 the Hebron VFD purchased their first piece of equipment - an American La France 1910 model with hard rubber tires and chain drive. It was bought from New York City at the cost of $3,500.00 . Also in 1926 Carl Messick was elected as the first president of the Hebron VFD and was succeeded by W. R. Wilson.
In the year 1930 the Hebron VFD bought musical instruments and formed a band so that they could participate in parades around the Hebron area. In 1931 the Department purchased a new 1931 American LaFrance engine at a cost of $6,500.00. This piece of apparatus accompanied the band to many of the parades they attended in the years ahead.
In 1936 the Fire Company purchased the Hebron Camp Grounds that they would use to hold their annual carnival. To this day the carnival is still held at that location. During the same year S. T. Culver was elected president of the department.
The department initiated a water system in 1938. After two years of planning in 1940, the first water well was drilled. The new water system was owned and operated by the Hebron Volunteer Fire Department, to provide a water supply for fire protection and to supply water to all the homes within town limits. The first pipe was laid from the storage tank, on the carnival grounds, to Nelson's Church, on Main Street. Additions were made until the system was completed.
A third piece of equipment was added to the department's fleet in 1947. The new piece was a new 1947 American LaFrance engine with 500 gallon water capacity for a cost of $12,000.00. In 1954 the department saw several new developments. The company added its fourth piece of equipment by purchasing E-504, a 500 gallon per minute Chevy/American with a front mounted pump and a 750 gallon water tank. The purchase price was $10,000.00. That same year saw the formation of the Ladies Auxiliary. We also saw the start of presenting awards for continuous service. Members with twenty years of service received an engraved watch, while members with ten years of service received a diamond lapel pin; this tradition is still carried on today.
The company installed a two-way radio in one apparatus in 1955 that had a county frequency on it. Three years later in 1958 a committee approved the plans for the rescue truck and it was delivered in 1959.
The 60's brought about several changes, S. T. Culver passed away and in 1961 Charles Trader was elected president. In 1964 installation of a central alarm system by Wicomico County was installed. Another first for the department was the starting of the ambulance service with the purchase of its first ambulance in 1966.
The first tanker was purchased in 1966 that had a capacity of 1,200 gallons. To accommodate the new purchases, Firehouse #2 was built which housed three pieces of equipment. A new pumper, E-506 was purchased at this time. It was a 750 gallon per minute Chevy/Young pumper with a 1,000 gallon water tank mounted on a Chevrolet chassis for a cost of $27,000.00. In 1967 the company purchased another new ambulance.
The beginning of the 70's saw the department having growing pains and in 1971 broke ground for a new firehouse at a cost of $340,000.00. The new building housed a radio communication center and the trucks were equipped with base radios. The engine room could house fourteen pieces of equipment. Located off the engine room is a large storage room, boiler room and a well-equipped engineer's room. Next to the engineers room is a bay area where repairs can be made on the equipment. The rear area of the building includes rest rooms, meeting room, a banquet room and kitchen. There are also rooms for the officers of the department and a lounge for members. The inside wall of the meeting room features a mural of a horse drawn pump donated by the Hebron Lions Club. The completion of the building was a dream come true and the result of many, many hours of planning and hard work.
The state of Maryland requested Hebron to house a 1963 International Tanker/Engine with a 400 gallons per minute pump and a 2,400 gallon water tank in their station, this was designated as T-514. In 1976 the company purchased a new Chevy C-60 tractor for their tanker trailer and a new 1976 Horton advance life support equipped ambulance to replace the 1967 unit. However, due to the ever-increasing EMS calls, the company saw it necessary to have two ambulances to handle the emergency transport calls.
A new Pierce Mini-Attack pumper with a 400 gallon per minute pump and a 250 gallon water tank was purchased in 1976. In 1979 the company saw the need to replace its aging rescue truck and a new Chevy/3-D unit was purchased. The old 1959 rescue truck was then sold to Station 1 of the Salisbury Fire Department.
The Hebron VFD began the 1980's with the purchase of a new Pierce Suburban top mounted 1,000 gallon per minute pumper with a 1,000 gallon water tank. A new Brush Unit was purchased in 1981. It was a new 1981 four-wheel drive C-20 Chevy pickup with an American Brush King Skid unit equipped with a 125 gallon per minute pump and a 300 gallon tank. This unit replaced the 1951 Jeep that the company used as a brush unit. A new Chevy Van used for supplies was purchased in 1984.
In 1986 Charles Trader was inducted into the Delmarva Hall of Fame. A first for the department came in April of 1988 when the first female Firefighter/EMT, Jacqueline Hatton, was accepted as a member, she was a Ladies Auxiliary member and had been riding the ambulance since 1985. In 1989 Ralph Adkins was inducted into the Delmarva Hall of Fame, in 1993 Don Beach joined him in the Hall of Fame.
We take great pride in our department and our equipment. Today we house some of the finest Fire and EMS apparatus in the county. A 1954 Chevrolet, utilized as a parade piece, also known as E-504. Brush 5 is a 2004 Chevy 3500 Duramax, 300gal Water Tank, 250gpm Hale Pump, 10gal Foam Tank. Our Engine Tanker 5 is a 2007 Pierce Lance, 2750gal Tank, 2000gpm Waterous Pump, Husky Foam System with a 30gal Tank, 20kw Harrison Generator, Night Scan 6000 Light Tower. We also have a 1990 Peterbuilt Tanker 508. This piece of equipment holds 3,000 gallons of water. Our 2006 Utility Van 5 holds 15 passengers and is used to go to classes and pick up necessities for the fire department. We also have a 2007 Chevrolet Suburban Command Vehicle. Car-5 holds 5 personnel and is utilized by our line officers to set up Incident Command before the rest of the equipment arrives. EMS 5 is a 2007 Ford Expedition and is used for medical assists if more personnel are needed on an EMS scene.
Engine 507 is a Pierce Saber and holds up to 1,000 gallons of water and can pump up to 1,250 gallons per minute. Up to 5 firefighters can utilize this engine. In 2010 we purchased 2 Chevy 4500's with Excellance Boxes. To keep up to date with our equipment these two pieces are built exactly the same and are equipped with the most advanced life support tools to date. In 2012 we purchased a brand new Pierce Impel 75' Ladder/Rescue Truck, this unit was bought to replace Tower 5 and Rescue Pumper 503. It has the capability to raise up to 75 feet in the air. We use this piece for chimney fires, to get personnel on the roof faster and safer, roof ventilation, and also for multi-story structures that need to be attacked from above to extinguish any flames that the firefighters on the ground cannot reach. In addition this unit has been equiped with a full compliment of rescue tools/equipment in order to perform rescue operations. It can carry up to 6 firefighters to the scene.