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Vintage fire equipment passes muster at Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company

The Chesapeake Antique Fire Apparatus Association (CAFAA) celebrated its 50th anniversary at a new site on Saturday, holding its annual Maryland Spring Muster at the Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company.

Some 40 pieces of equipment used to fight fires throughout the years were on site, with several hooked up to the nearby pond to give water pumping displays.

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The CAFAA began with its first muster in College Park, in May 1970. It had been held at the Carroll County Farm Museum since 2002 until this year’s move.

Bob Alexander, a past president and longtime CAFAA member, said the organization had to make the switch for financial reasons, but he also liked the idea of holding the muster on a paved parking lot that would be immune to weather.

Alexander got his start in firefighting with the Union Bridge company in 1953 before moving to Finksburg and joining Reese. He recently received his 60-year pin. In an interview last week, Alexander said there would be equipment from local fire companies — including 1931 and 1953 trucks once used by Union Bridge — as well as equipment from throughout Maryland and neighboring states. The Westminster fire company, however, had to miss the muster for only the second time as equipment is currently being restored.

Throughout Saturday at Pleasant Valley, in addition to the antique fire equipment, vendors conducted a flea market and the fire company’s auxiliary sold food.

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