West Side Volunteer Fire Department and community celebrate new engine, honor former chief
BIVALVE, Md. – After months of fundraising, people in Wicomico County gathered at the West Side Volunteer Fire Department on Sunday to celebrate their new wheels.
“It’s a really big day for us to be able to upgrade and move forward and have a new engine to serve the community,” said Grady Romblad, assistant chief at the West Side Volunteer Fire Department.
The fire department says the old engine reached the end of its lifespan, but the new one has upgraded technology. Plus, it’s much safer and easier to use than the old one.
But they say it’s been much harder to raise money this year because of the pandemic and Maryland Delegate Carl Anderton has seen those challenges first hand.
“This year has been very difficult especially fundraising for a lot of our volunteer companies and so the ability to make this happen is a testament to everybody, just a testament to everybody,” said Anderton.
“It’s awesome,” said Anderton.
The fire department has raised thousands of dollars since last year and according to Romblad, it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the community.
“Every time we’ve done something we’ve had lines down here of people coming to help buy lunch, make donations, and just have a good time,” said Romblad.
“There has been so much food that has been prepared either in people’s houses or here in the firehouse,” said Ashley Holmes.
And woven into this new engine was a dedication to their former chief John Wilson who passed away last year after serving the county for decades.
“It’s a nice chance to honor him and it’s nice to still see the love from the community to support his legacy,” said Romblad.
The West Side Volunteer Fire Department tells 47ABC the new engine cost around $600,000. They say they plan to use it for the next 25 years.