Our Team has four antique CF Mack fire trucks used in support of our mission. Sometimes, we have been asked, “Why does a counseling team have fire trucks?” This is certainly a legitimate question and one we are more than happy to explain. We long ago learned that the success of our mission would rest in our ability to gain the trust of those we serve. In 2007, we had little to draw from as there just weren’t many programs available to show us the way. We soon realized that to gain the trust the of those we served during the bad times, we needed to support them and their families in the good times and truly be a “Support Team”. In 2008, we placed a float in the Charleston Christmas Parade carrying fire departments kids and our team members to show support for our fire department families. Wow, after that we were “off to the races” as we purchased one truck, and then several others, to become a part of, and help create, those good times we talk about. Since that time, we have participated in more firefighter weddings, kids and adult birthday parties, parades, and other displays then we can remember, and yes, sadly sometimes, firefighter funerals, to carry our brothers and sisters to their last resting place, as a tribute to their service and in support of their families.
Take a few minutes to read the history of these trucks as they were all warriors in their time. We hope our commitment to their preservation and service, also honors all those who served on them.
There are four trucks in our fleet. “Big John”, “Wil E Coyote” and the “Road Runner”, all pumpers and, soon to join us and be named, a 75 foot CF Mack Aerial Scope. First, “Big John”, a 1969 Mack, was donated to our Team by our friends of the Old Fort Fire Department in Ladson, South Carolina. It came to Old Fort some years ago from Union Beach, New Jersey. It was used as a frontline pumper at Old Fort for many years before being donated to us to be a part of the legacy of our dear friend and teammate, Charleston Fire Department Battalion Chief John Winn, who succumbed to lung cancer in 2012. It was Chief Winn’s wish that we promote health screenings for firefighters to detect cancer and other illnesses early to improve their ability to receive treatment and their ultimate survival. “Big John” has served us well and continues to do so.
Our “Road Runner”, a 1985 Mack, began its service in the Arnold Fire Department in Pennsylvania before it was acquired by the Goose Creek Rural Fire Department in Berkeley County, South Carolina. After a career there, it went to the Santee Circle Fire Department where it was donated to us for use on our Team in 2017. Many thanks to Chief Bob Winn and his Board of Directors for this gift. It does double duty for us now, as our Honor Guard truck for funerals and as our Autism Awareness truck for our children who have Autism.
The “Wile E. Coyote”, a 1989 Mack, was 161 Engine of the FDNY and served with the “Beach Boys” on Staten Island. After it’s original service, it was placed in reserve before being recalled to be used in Manhattan as their 7 Engine after the 9/11 attack. After its retirement, it went to the bone yard in the Brooklyn Navy Yard where it was purchased, brought to South Carolina, and refurbished by Chief Robert Plaxico and his folks at the Joanna Fire Department in Laurens County, South Carolina. It was purchased from Chief Plaxico last year by David Reindollar and added to our Team. An interesting historical fact is that this truck was the very last CF Mack pumper purchased by the FDNY. It’s serial number documents it as the last in the final group of twenty-three CF Macks purchased by the FDNY.
Our Mack Aerial Scope, a 1983 Mack, began it’s fire department life in the FDNY as 155 Truck in the Viper’s Nest in Queens. After being decommissioned and taking a trip through a collector in New Hampshire, Chief Robert Plaxico of the Joanna Fire Department in Laurens County, South Carolina brought it to our State. Our Team Leader, David Reindollar, recently purchased it and will contribute the use of it for our mission. The future of the Scope is developing as it will be housed at our offices at old NCFD Station 5, where we hope to recreate the feeling of times gone by when it housed the NCFD’s Truck 5 and Engine 5, a CF Mack Pumper. Hopefully, it will bring some smiles to those who served at Station 5.
So, our friends, that’s why our counseling team has trucks as we continue to evolve as a counseling and a SUPPORT team for our firefighters, EMS personnel, 911 telecommunicators, and their families.
Let us know if we can be of service to you. And, stop by to see us sometime