Carroll County Times

Carroll County holds 2013 Spring Muster

Firetrucks will be rolling from the Carroll County Farm Museum today, but these will not be ordinary firetrucks.

Bob Alexander will lead the parade of antique firetrucks on his 1931 Seagrave as part of the 2013 Spring Muster, held by the Chesapeake Antique Fire Apparatus Association.


Alexander, the chairman of the muster, is a member of the CAFAA and has participated in the muster since 1989. He owns two firetrucks, a 1931 and 1953 Seagrave, he said.

Alexander was a member of the Union Bridge fire company. He got the 1953 Seagrave after retiring in 1989.


"Whenever there was a problem [involving a fire], he was always there," Dottie Freeman, park superintendent at the Farm Museum, said.

The Farm Museum has been holding the muster since 2003, she said.

The trucks in the parade will drive a faster pace than most parade vehicles because the engines overheat if the truck drives too slowly, Alexander said.

"This hot weather is hard on the old trucks," he said.

Following the parade, static trucks will be lined up for pictures and others will be positioned around the pond off of the Farm Museum grounds for the pumping contest, Alexander said.

During the pumping contest, 12 to 15 firetruck owners will tell judges that they can pick up water from the pond in certain time. If the owners pump the water in less than their said time, judges will write their score down. If it takes longer than the claimed time to pump the water, then the owner will be disqualified, he said.

The winner, or the first "water" of the pumping contest, receives an engraved plaque with the picture of last year's "Best of Draft" winner.

CAFAA will present awards by year. While the trucks pump water, judges will also examine their appearance for the contest, including the equipment on the truck. The judges help determine the winner in categories where there are three or more trucks, he said.


"The pumping, to me, is the most exciting thing," Alexander said.

There are also plaques for the longest distance driven, the longest distance trailored and for the two judges' awards. The judges also choose a "Best of Draft" winner, which will be featured on the following year muster's dash and award plaques.

This year firetrucks can be all different brands, whereas in previous years CAFAA would pick a particular brand to feature. There are currently 30 firetrucks registered, he said.

All firetruck owners who register will receive a dash plaque, Alexander said.

There will also be a flea market for antique fire apparatuses and CAFAA will sell dash plaques.