1978/1986 Ford/L.T.I. leaves Station 2 for a "new home"
On Saturday, June 5, 2010 the old Tanker 2-7 (most recently designated Tanker 2-8) left Greenbackville for the last time. The unit was sold to the North End Volunteer Fire Department, of Sparta, Tennessee. G.V.F.D. - Station 2 advised central to permanently remove the unit from service, at 1331 hrs on June 4th. Members of North End arrived in Greenbackville at 7:00 A.M. on June 5th, and were demonstrated the trucks capabilities and took possession of the units paperwork. Afterwards, the members of North End departed Station 2 at approximately 1000 hrs, and after driving all night and into the next morning, they arrived back in Sparta, at 4:00 A.M. on Sunday, June 6th. We sincerely wish the members of the North End V.F.D. well with their "new" purchase. We hope the unit serves you well - as it has served us.
* Brief History of our 1978 Ford *
Affectionately called "Big Bertha" by many of the members, the Ford LT-800 chassis (S/N T81JVBJ5972) was delivered from Carlton Massey, Inc., of Pocomoke City, Maryland, in the amount of $20,716.29 on March 15, 1978. The membership and Board of Trustees, had approved the purchase on October 13, 1977. The department then contracted Sanford Fire Apparatus Corporation, of East Syracuse, N.Y. to install a new 750 GPM Hale P75-3 front-mount pump, and a used 3,800 gallon tank on the truck; at a cost of $13,750. Financing for the purchase was secured through Hallwood National Bank, in the amount of $38,000. The unit was placed into service in late December of 1978. Later, during 1986, due to the fact that the aluminum tank had been patched several times, the department decided to replace it with a new, smaller one. L.T.I. (Ladder Towers Incorporated) of Ephrata, P.A. installed a new steel body, with a 3,000 gallon reinforced fiberglass tank; at a total cost of $55,000.
The unit served Greenbackville longer than any apparatus in the departments 54 year history; it even surpassed the old '63 International, which previously had held the title, at 26 years of active front-line service. Over this long period of time, "Big Bertha" responded to several notable fires during it's 32 year career. I will highlight just a few that come to mind: First and foremost - On October 11, 1986 it responded to the City of Crisfield, Maryland (over 30 miles away) where two (2) city blocks were destroyed by fire; February 14, 2000 - responded to the Corbin Hall plantation fire in Horntown; April 4, 2000 - responded to Saxis, where the over a century old, Saxis United Methodist Church was destroyed by fire; 2004 - responded to the largest first due fire in the history of GVFD, at the former "Greenback Canning Company" building in Greenbackville (a total of 8 departments responded, it was later ruled arson); and last during 2007, responded to a large multi-alarm fire at the Chesapeake Forest Products chip mill, just north of Pocomoke City, Maryland, where the unit shuttled fourteen (14) loads of water (42,000 gallons).
It should be noted that a great era, has come to an end in Greenbackville - The former "2-7" was the last of the manual transmission fire apparatus at Station 2 (It was equipped with a 9 speed Eaton, and a 2-speed axle; some members never quite learned the trick of shifting & double-clutching the transmission). Also gone, is the last of our front-mounted pumps in town, once a very familiar scene on the Eastern Shore; and gone too, is the very distinct and noticeable sound of its gasoline motor & the pleasant, unique "rumble" that you heard when the truck left or returned to town.
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