While many fire companies may be able to boast about being the first organization to reach specific benchmarks or milestones, few if any can lay claim to being the oldest fire department within an area. The Independent Hose Company of Fredrick, MD, was organized in 1818 and has served the community continuously since that time. Today, the fire company is the oldest volunteer company in the state of Maryland that has served continuously since being formed.
The company was originally chartered as the Fredrick Hose Company and assigned as Company 1 with a green color scheme for its apparatus. Today the Independent Hose Company operates for a four bay station located at 310 Baughman's Ln. in the western portion of the city of Frederick. The company is under the command of Chief Rodney Masser, who oversees a group of 75 active volunteers and 7 career personnel who respond to over 7,000 calls annually.
History Of Innovative Units
The Independent Fire Company has enjoyed a long history of operating innovative apparatus beginning in 1908 when they placed into service a motorized Howe pumper that was the first automotive style type apparatus in Maryland. In 1937 they took delivery of a Seagrave Safety Sedan pumper with fully enclosed bench seating for personnel. This unit served the company until 1954 and then was sold to the Carroll Manor Fire Company in Fredrick County. For a time the company operated a pair of twin Mack L-model canopy cab pumpers that were acquired in 1953 and 1954. These pumpers were very distinctive in their white and green livery with body compartments and extensive gold leaf stripping.
After operating several Mack CF model pumpers acquired in 1972 and 1973 the they again turned to Seagrave Fire Apparatus in 1984 and again in 1988 when they placed into service HB-model pumpers. Finally in 1994 they acquired a Seagrave TB model four-door cab 1,500-gpm pumper as Engine 12.
Today the Independent Hose Company operates a 2006 Pierce Dash as Rescue Engine 11, a 1995 Peterbilt/Four Guys 3,000-gallon engine/tanker as Tanker 1, together with a 2001 Emergency One 95-foot rear-mount tower as Tower 1. In addition they operate two medic units, two brush trucks, an advanced technical rescue unit and several support vehicles.
New Engine 12
The station's newest piece of apparatus is a 2011 Seagrave Marauder II pumper model TB-50-CM and is assigned as Engine 12, replacing the 1994 Seagrave pumper. Engine 12 is built on a 184 1/2-inch wheelbase with an overall length of 31 feet, 1 inch and a bumper extension of 24 inches. The overall height of the apparatus is 118 inches. The apparatus is powered by a Cummins model ISM engine rated at 500-horsepower through an Allison EVS-4000 transmission.
The Waterous CSU single-stage fire pump is rated at 1,500 gpm with a 750-gallon L-shaped water tank which provides for a low rear hosebed. Other major components on the engine include an Onan 15Kw hydraulically driven generator mounted above the water tank together with Fire Research cab and body 120 volt scene lighting.
Cab & Warning Features
The warning light package includes a Whelen Freedom LED forward facing light bar, two Whelen FM mini LED side facing light bars together with twin Mars lights and an LED style roto-ray at the cab front. Whelen 600 series red and clear warning lights are located around the perimeter of the body and cab front with Whelen B6MMRAP LED lights provided at the upper rear body corners.
The stainless steel Marauder II cab provides seating for eight personnel with a Super Vac Command light mounted on top of the raised roof cab. Safety components provided on the engine include a reinforced steel front bumper, cab-mounted down view mirror, 17-inch front disc brakes, rear body mounted back up camera and non-slip inserts located at the back step area.