South Alabamian

Retired fire truck travels back home to Maryland

Engine 804 leaves Salitpa to be returned to the St. Leonard, Md. Fire Department for restoration.

Engine 804 leaves Salitpa to be returned to the St. Leonard, Md. Fire Department for restoration.

Chip’s Transport Company of Huntington, Md. left the Salitpa community recently with retired fire engine 804 for a 900-mile journey to St. Leonard, Md. Fire Department.

Chief Ricky Weems contacted Salitpa Fire Chief Mac Henley earlier this year in an effort to locate the 1986 model Ford Pierce Engine (their department’s very first engine after forming in the 1980s).

Not knowing if the old truck was still in existence, St. Leonard volunteer firemen began an effort to track down the old pumper in hopes of restoring it for its historical significance to the department.

Salitpa Fire Department purchased the truck in 2002, but it was sold by the department in 2008 after engine failure. Chief Henley recently made an agreement to purchase the pumper through his business, (ICR Inc.) and donated it to the St. Leonard VFD.

“We in the Salitpa Fire Department are very pleased to see them re-acqire the old truck as it is such an important part of their history and wish them our very best with their restoration efforts. Engine 804 served our community well for several years and was with us during the devastation of hurricanes Ivan and Katrina.”

Photos and stories of the truck, past and present, can be seen on the St. Leonard VFD facebook page and website. The 100 percent volunteer department averages more than 2,000 fire, rescue and medical calls annually with a first due area of approximately 40 square miles within southern Calvert County, Md.

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