The History of the Deale Volunteer Fire DepartmentThe Deale Volunteer Fire Department was organized in 1946 after its need was suggested by a small group of men gathered in one of the local stores to discuss the events of the day, and it was mentioned that Deale needed a Fire Company. The Deale Company became members of the Maryland State Firemen’s Association in 1948, and the Anne Arundel County Volunteer Firemen’s Association, Inc. in 1949.
The Company’s first truck was purchased from Clinton, Maryland for $2,250.00. This proud possession became known as “Nellie Bell” and as she had to have a home, a member donated his garage for the first fire hall. By 1949, a second truck was purchased for $8,000.00. The Company and the community was growing and a third truck was added in 1954 at a cost of $12,000.00. In 1964 a new truck was purchased for $30,000.00, and in 1968 a 750 gallon per minute pumper was purchased for $32,000.00. In 1969 the Company bought a 3/4 ton pickup truck for $3,000.00, which the members equipped themselves to use as a brush and utility truck.
The present fire house was completed in 1948. The building was renovated in 1951, and again in 1959 when a 40X80 foot hall along with tables and chairs to seat 250 people, a meeting room, a bed room, an enlarged office, toilets, electric water pump, hot water heating plant, direct phones for fire calls, and a rural business line for local calls was added. The building was again renovated in 1978 and expanded by adding two new engine bays in the front and a larger living quarter area. The latest renovations include a new kitchen area, new offices and storage rooms, and two drive-thru bays to accomodate the latest purchased equipment.
On January 1, 1952, two enginemen were hired, one to work during the day and one to work during the night, changing duties at regular intervals. In 1963, a third engineman was added. A two-way radio system was installed in 1954.
In 1970 Deale bought their first and long needed ambulance for $8,400.00.
In 1971 a Chief’s car was purchased for $3,500.00. The Chief’s car was used for attending meetings by both the members and the Ladies Auxiliary. In 1973 a new ambulance was purchased for $12,000.00 to replace the old one. In 1974 Deale bought a 1966 Jeep from the Forestry Department.
The fire company purchased a new Pierce 1250 gallon per minute pumper in April of 1976 and a new Ford 1000 gpm pumper in 1984.
Due to the increase of calls on land, as well as the water, the Department purchased a 43 foot steel haul fire and rescue boat in 1985, dubbed Fire Boat 42. Fire Boat 42 was equipped with a 800 gpm Hale pump, and a full line of EMS and firefighting gear. Fire Boat 42 carries the same amount of EMS equipment as a BLS ambulance, and almost the same amount of fire equipment as a Class A Pumper. The Deale Volunteer Fire Department also has a 13 foot Boston Whaler that is used for water rescue.
In 1987 the department added a new Chief’s car, a new GMC brush truck, a new Chevrolet crew cab utility truck, and a new Ford ambulance. In 1988 the addition to the Department to expand its fire-rescue services was a 1963 85 foot Seagrave Aerial Ladder Truck purchased from Aurora Volunteer Fire Department in Wyoming. Truck 42 is equipped with a full complement of rescue tools, Hurst tools, RAMS, Air Bags, Porta Powers, saws, lighting equipment, generator, etc.
In July 1990, the Department signed a contract for $530,000.00 for a 1991 E-ONE 1250 gpm Class A Pumper, and a 1991 E-ONE 110 foot Aerial Ladder Truck to replace the aged Truck42. Both pieces of apparatus were delivered in April 1991.
In June 1999, The Department purchased a Pierce Dash/2000 2,500 gallon Pumper Tanker.
As of 1999, the company averages about 1,200 to 1,400 fire and ambulance calls per year.
On the night of March 19, 1954 at 22:29 hours the Department responded to a report of a barn fire, as the result of a lightning strike, off of Rt. 2 and Old Solomons Island Road, in Lothian Maryland.
Engineman Junior Windsor was the driver of the first engine from Deale to arrive on location. Visibility was poor due to a hard driving rain from a thunder and lightning storm. Only upon dismounting the engine, a 1949 Ford Barton American, did Junior and the Deale firemen realize that this was not a barn, “but a major aircraft accident”. When Junior walked around the front of the engine to engage the front mount pump, he tripped over a body. The carnage at hand was that of an Air Force C-119 Flying Boxcar, killing a total of 22 servicemen. During the late 1930’s until the late 1950’s, aircraft crashes weren’t uncommon in southern Anne Arundel County, as this was the normal flight path for several training maneuvers.
On June 6, 1954, the Department responded to an automobile accident at Rt. 4 and Lyons Creek Road. Two cars filled with teenagers were drag racing when one of the cars hit another car with an entire family, head-on. Upon impact one car exploded, resulting with a total of 10 deaths, most of the deaths resulted from burns. This was the worst auto accident in the State until a single vehicle accident claimed 11 teenagers in the late 1970’s in Anne Arundel County.
On August 12, 1955, the Deale Fire Department was summoned again, in the wreck and sinking of the 3 masted schooner, the Levin J. Marvel, during hurricane Connie, off of Herring Bay. Members from Deale and North Beach Volunteer Fire Departments, braved gale force winds, and high treacherous seas, risking their lives in small boats to rescue as many passengers off the doomed ship as possible, as she was breaking up, 14 drowned, and 11 were rescued.
On April 23, 1961, the Deale Volunteer Fire Department had a dwelling fire which killed nine members of a family in Rose Haven, North Beach Park, Maryland, which was the worst life loss for a single family dwelling in the State, until a fire in Western Maryland claimed ten people in the late 1970’s.
On April 6, 1985, the Deale Fire Department had one of the largest fires in the history of Anne Arundel County. The Winstead Tobacco Packing Warehouse, located in the 42-1 box, at Rt. 4 and Rt. 408 in Waysons Corner. The fire started by a worker using a torch for utility work, resulted in a total loss of the building and one fatality. A total of 18 alarms were called, 9 alarms from Anne Arundel County, and 9 alarms from Prince George’s County. Various other mutual aid was received from Calvert, Charles, Howard Counties and Baltimore City. The building was several hundred feet long/wide, and two stories tall. Almost half of the responding equipment was used to combat a fire storm resulting from the initial fire, causing severe exposure problems by setting several houses and other structures on fire, and several brush fires up to one mile away. Ray Mudd III, was the first Fire Chief on location and was the initial commander. The fire was estimated at a several million dollar fire loss.
The Deale Fire Department with the help of the Ladies Auxiliary still have two oyster roasts a year, a one week carnival with a parade, a crab feast, Christmas bazaar, country breakfasts on Saturday mornings, and a fund drive to help raise money to support the Department with the help of the tax money from Anne Arundel County.
At present, the Deale Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad operates over ten pieces of fire and rescue apparatus. This is truly an example of faith and dedication from the membership and the communities we serve.
This brief history of our Department is dedicated to the men and women of the Fire Department and Ladies Auxiliary, and all of their families, for their unselfish, untiring service to the citizens of Anne Arundel County.