Feature Friday: Kentland Volunteer Fire Department
Founded in 1951, the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department is one of 19 volunteer fire departments within the Prince George’s County Fire Rescue Service in Prince George’s County, MD. Located approximately 15 minutes outside of Washington, DC, Station 33 operates two engines, a tower ladder, a rescue engine, and a mini-pumper, collectively responding to around 4,000 calls for service annually.
Placed in service in early March, 2020, Engine 332 is a 2019 Pierce Enforcer Pumper with a 1500gpm pump, 500 gallon water tank, and a custom stainless-steel body. Powering the new rig is a Detroit Diesel DD13 engine and an Allison EVS 4000 transmission.
Replacing a 1989 fixed-cab Seagrave, the new Engine 332 uniquely mirrors many of the features of the old rig. Most notably, this is the first non-fixed-cab fire truck from Pierce to feature a center-mounted front intake. Traditionally, Kentland has run attack lines on each side of the front bumper, and then a section of 5” large diameter hose in the center. Until this truck, all of Kentland’s engines had been fixed cab, with plumbing through the front wall of the cab. To maintain this operation, this was a requirement of the manufacturer of the truck. Additional design details include a “dog-house” mounted in the rear crew area, vertical slider center cab windows, vertical grab handles across the crew windows, a traditional 2-high/2-low stainless-steel body, no air conditioning, 2 attack lines plumbed separately to the front bumper, roof-mounted hard-suction hose, a chrome deck gun, and the side of bumper-mounted warning lights moved rearward to allow for the hose lines to drape over the side. Reminiscent of the former 332, nicknamed “The Jet,” this new rig also features a switch in the cab labeled “Missiles/Guns.”
Kentland’s committee selected FireTech for all their scene lighting because, “We were looking for very bright lighting to both light up the scene and help find address numbers. We also wanted a low-profile look when the light was off. The way the HiViz lights sit under the emergency light bars, paired with the brightness of the light fixtures, made it a very easy decision.” The brow of the cab features a FireTech FT-B-72 brow light with integrated marker lights. The sides of the truck are lit with a 15 LED mini-brow light with combination spot/flood optics (FT-MB-15-FT), one mounted on each side of the cab. The rear of Engine 332 is lit with 2 7-LED work lights (FT-WL-3500).
The Kentland Volunteer Fire Department (KVFD) was founded on February 3, 1951 when it was decided that there was not adequate fire protection for this, at the time, rural area minutes from Washington DC. Ten neighbors; Harold Anderson, Bob Baeschlin, Hugh McNeely, William Pearce, Walter Shea, Maurice Sullivan, John Wilding, Charles Weaver, Desmond Wonch and Steve Yuhacz of the newly constructed Kentland Community met at the home of Bob and Elaine Baeschlin. At this special meeting around the Baeschlin’s kitchen table the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department was born.
In PG County, each new fire department gets the proceeding number from the last established department and Kentland was in line for 32. Bob fought for the # 33 for the department and it was taken in front of the PGCVFA council. 33 was the number of Bob’s favorite football player Sammy Baugh who played for the Washington Redskins, the team coincidently now playing in Landover, down the street from today’s firehouse. The number 33 was awarded to Kentland as long as we waited to join the Association until after the next organization. Not long after with help from Kentland members and $5.00 for their fee, Allentown Road Volunteer Fire Department submitted paperwork. In 1953 Kentland 33, Allentown Road 32 and Chillum-Adelphi 34 all joined the Association which represented 33 Engine Companies, 8 Truck Companies and 4 Rescue Squads answering 2,572 fire calls countywide.
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