A Changing Society Reflected within the Department

Throughout the 1980’s, AVFD continued with the modernization and upgrading of apparatus in a highly technological time. The ambulances were state of the art Advanced Life Support (ALS) equipped units. The Rescue Squad and “Old Mack” engine was both professionally refurbished but when they came back to AVFD they were no longer fire engine red. They had been given the new lime-green/yellow paint scheme.

The aging brush jeep was severely damaged at the scene of a woods fire near present day Giant shopping center on Wilkens Avenue. In the 80’s the Arbutus area was nearly saturated with development. The farms were all gone and very few fields or wooded areas remained. Since brush units were being maintained at nearby Catonsville #4 and Halethorpe #5 career stations, it was decided that after more than 30 years a brush jeep was no longer needed at AVFD.

On August 6, 1987, a 1987 Hahn 1250 GPM pumper (Engine 351) arrived at AVFD to take the place of the 1966 Mack. The “Old Mack” was a reliable and favorite piece of many, but it was far too outdated to compete with the modern fire engines of the day.


Many members still reminisce about responding to fires on cold winter nights while standing on the back step of the old rig. In July of 1987 the engine pulled out of AVFD for the last time with the firehouse siren blowing in tribute to “Old Mack”!!

For several years, the Ladies Auxiliary had difficulty recruiting new members and retaining the old members. A lack of support from AVFD had also been a very discouraging factor for the Ladies who were trying to help the Department. In 1990, after many years of dedication, the remaining ladies of the Auxiliary voted to dissolve their organization.