Firetruck History
 
1988 Mack CF
1,000 GPM Pumper
"328"
Served New York City
 
This Mack CF pumper (VIN 1M2A152C3JM001235) was custom built in January of 1989 and delivered to the FDNY, entering service on May 11 (replacing a 1979 Mack CF pumper). The FDNY calls it a 1988 because they used to identify rigs by the fiscal year the money was appropriated, not when it was built (note service designation MP8806 under the left windshield). The FDNY was almost exclusive to the Mack CF Pumper, using 525 such units from the beginning of their production in 1968 until the last one was built in 1991. The 6-man "New York Cab" was introduced in the early '70s to shield firefighters from the elements and danger while in transit.

Assigned Engine 328, this Mack served at "The Big House", a firehouse on Central Avenue in Far Rockaway, Queens NYC. Due to its remote location and because of the time it would take other companies to respond to the fire, this is the only double engine (328 and 264) firehouse in the FDNY (also including Ladder 134).


A 1995 photo of 328 at "the Big House" fire hall (Queens, NYC)

Removed from duty as Engine 328 on April 2, 1999, this Mack passed on the appointment to a 1998 Seagrave pumper. Assigned to the spare pool as MP8806 on April 8, it was used for the rest of its inservice life by many different companies who used it while their pumpers were being repaired. This engine was part of the FDNY inventory during the atrocities of 9/11. In addition to the 343 firefighters who gave their lives, the FDNY lost 91 pieces of apparatus during the fall of the World Trade Towers. Two of the 18 Engines lost were similar Mack CF style to 328 (both activated from the spare pool, covering off front-line Seagrave pumpers) while an additional 130 pieces were damaged. Remarkably, the FDNY was fully operational within 5 days, returning to full service capability on September 16, 2001. MP8806 was one of the spare pool units utilized to make this happen, serving various firehouses throughout the department until permanent replacement apparatus entered service.

MP8806 was permanently retired from the FDNY on January 22, 2004. After being sold at auction, the new owner replaced the internal tank and gave it a new paint job, celebrating its service life as 328. Enjoying retirement, this Mack CF is in excellent condition (they were usually very tired after disposal) and a fully operational example of what the FDNY would have employed over 3 decades.


In-service photo courtesy of the FDNY

"328" was imported to Canada in late summer of 2014. Early the following season, it was called upon to provide a unique type of mutual aid for another assisting department, also responding to a massive tanker fire at "Stroh's Curve" on I-75N @ 375, just outside Detroit, Michigan.

On Sunday, May 24 2015, a mechanical problem resulted in a transport tipping on its side and igniting the 9,000 gallon load of unleaded gasoline. Seen from great distances, the fire flowed like lava from its high point, several hundred yards down the ramp and highway. Consequently, the Detroit Fire Department required mutual aid from the Dearborn Fire Department, Detroit City Airport crew as well as personnel and apparatus from the nearby Marathon Oil Refinery.

Because of their industrial service life in a closed course, the Marathon rigs were not equipped with the same lights and sirens as apparatus that serves the public. When the refinery's foam tender made its way behind "328", the crew instructed the former FDNY rig to go live with lights, siren and its mighty blow horn to part the traffic.

Remarkably, the driver escaped in fine condition with no major injuries reported. The highway was shut down for a period of 6 days while 300 feet of highway had to be replaced.


May 24, 2015 photo of the tanker fire on I-75, Northbound from Detroit

Historical information courtesy of Norman Jacobsen, Michael Martinelli, Fire Apparatus Journal and the FDNY.