In November 1957, by-laws were established using Neck District Vol. Fire Co. by-laws as a guide. Officers were elected, even a chief although the fire company didn’t even have a fire truck. Next came fundraising, covered dish dinners at Salem Church Community Hall, dinners at Friendship Church Hall, dances with “cake walks” at Camp Thendara, bakes sales, turkey shoots and raffles. The community supported these events as well as offering flour, eggs, canned goods, sugar and baked items.
1958 was a Big year – First Basic Training Class with 20 men taught by Pete Borga in Salem. The fire company purchased a 1939 Dodge fire truck (formally owned by Rescue Fire Co.) for $200 dollars and Sharptown VFC donated a 1926 LaFrance fire truck. It was stored at Julian’s Vincent garage in Linkwood. Land was purchased at the present site for $1,000 dollars from Lina Henderbrand and she in turn donated $500.00 back to the company. The Ladies Auxiliary was formed, and a fire house was built with lumber donated by Robert Dickerson and Tom Gleason and Bill Lewis did the cement and chimney work. The water was tapped from Mr. Lewis’s well and the 18’x26’ firehouse was ready for operation.
In 1963, with a $5,000 loan, construction of a 78’x32’ cinder block building was completed to house the trucks and hold dinners and bingo. For the next 2 decades Linkwood-Salem would create their own fire trucks. A pump was purchased from Taylors Island Vol. Fire Co., a 1200-gallon tank donated by Hop Malone and a truck bought for $70 from Jessup made the first tanker for the company. Another truck from Jessup and under the direction of Arnold Gilliard with work performed by members including welding by Elzey Willey and Bill Linthicum and we now had the second tanker.
In 1969 the Tall Cedars assisted the members with BBQ chicken. A fundraiser that continues today.
In 1969 a truck was built that was “the Pride of Linkwood- Salem”. Lawrence Knauer scaled a 1” to 1/2” model of the truck body on cardboard, and it was built by Salisbury Steel. The chassis was purchased from Phillips Ford. The members spent countless hours finishing the body and the truck was painted by Herman Hughes. This pumper was designated as 361. It had a 1,000-gallon tank and a 750 GPM pump. With just a siren in Linkwood and one in Salem, several ladies called firemen by phone as many were out of hearing range.
1971 saw another change, the Ladies Auxiliary disbanded, and its members became members of Linkwood-Salem Vol. Fire Co., proving to be an asset for us. We may have been the first company to take the big step. Hard work continued but now as one.
In1974 3000-gallon tanker with a 750 GPM pump was placed in service as Tanker 661. It was painted by Dennis Roe. A Rescue Truck chassis donated by Darling International and a rescue body purchased from Meadows Hydraulics was painted by Jess Jr. and Sons. It was place in service as Rescue 461. Lettering was done by Burton Whaley.
In the late 1970’s early 80’s were times of change also! A larger truck house was built, remodeling of the dining hall and an addition to the kitchen with the direction from Jackie Gore and Bicky Roche.
In 1984 the fire company purchased its first factory-built fire truck, a 1984 pumper American Built by Collins Industries in Kansas for $50,000. The pumper has a 1,000-gallon tank and a 1,000 GPM pump Jerry Willey and Tink Collins flew to Kansas and drove it home. Another proud day as the members were working in the BBQ Pit when they arrived home from Kansas
For fun along the way we marched in parades under the direction of Jackie Molisani, played in softball tournaments with Jack Smith and Alva Lee Henry as managers, participated in Dorchester County Hose Lay competitions, bringing back trophies that would fill two cases built by Nick Molisani and Alva Lee Henry. Of course the ladies assisted.
In 1989 we added to our dining hall with monies left to us by Percy Davenport. A cadet program was started with already existing junior members and a Holmatro Rescue Tool was purchased.
In 1996 a second factory-built pumper was purchased. A Freightliner by Firemaster from Delmarva Fire Apparatus for $196,000 which has a 1,000-gallon tank and 1,500 GPM pump. An addition to the truck house was completed with grant monies from Maryland State Firemen’s Association.
Needing a larger tanker in 1999 Darling International donated a tractor, Hess Oil Co. donated the trailer and with the help from Delmarva Refurbishing including painting the unit, the fire company placed in service a 6000-gallon tanker with a 1500 GPM pump
In 2005 the fire company purchased a Freightliner by Firemaster Rescue/Engine for $270,000 with a Low Interest State Loan. The Rescue Engine has an 850-gallon tank, 1,500 GPM pump, cascade system and rescue tools Hebron Vol. Fire Company donated a 1981 brush truck and Queenstown Vol. Fire Co. donated a 1984 Ford Bronco that was used as a utility vehicle. A 1996 Peterbilt 3000-gallon tanker with a 1,000 GPM pump was placed in service in 2014
Many fundraisers have brought us this far, bingos, bull roasts, bazaars and dances but the chicken BBQ and chicken and oyster suppers are our main fundraisers. Hard work continues today with a fundraiser every month but December. We continue the commitment that was began by the founding members to strive to offer the best possible service to the community and surrounding fire departments. Our volunteers dedicate countless hours for emergency calls, trainings, meetings and fund-raising events.