Help us to continue making a difference in the Pocomoke community by making a tax deductible donation to Pocomoke City Volunteer Fire Co.
The mission of the Pocomoke City Fire Company is to protect the lives and property of Pocomoke City and its surrounding area, through emergency response, education, and prevention.
History of Pocomoke City:
1670 Earliest references to Pocomoke City as Stevens Ferry
1683 Became known as Meeting House Landing due to Presbyterian house of
worship at the foot of Willow Street
1700 Large tobacco warehouse built on river and town’s name interchanged
between Meeting House Landing and Warehouse Landing
1780 Town was named Newtown
1865 Town was officially incorporated with elections held
1878 Town officials requested name be changed to Pocomoke City
History of the Fire Company:
1866 The first recorded fire occurred but no record of damage of losses found
1884 The town formed an unofficial fire company and purchased the Clapp and Jones still owned by the fire company on display in the lobby of the firehouse. We were one of only three fire companies on the lower shore…the others being Salisbury and Crisfield
1886 During the Great Salisbury Fire, the local fire company along with the steamer were loaded on a fast train north. Our men were instrumental in saving the east side of Salisbury including the Wicomico County court house
1888 On November 22 at 4 PM a devastating fire started in Dr Truitt’s house at Front and Market Sts. Salisbury and Crisfield sent help but 79 buildings were destroyed.
1888 On December 18 the town called a special meeting and commissioned the first official fire company with W. H. Davis as chief. The Pocomoke City
Volunteer Fire Company Number 1 was officially formed and soon incorporated.
1892 In the early morning of July 6 fire broke out in a store on Willow St and within hours, almost the same area destroyed in 1888 was turned to ashes. 69 buildings were destroyed.
1892 The first firehouse was constructed on Willow St.
1922 On April 22 “the most disastrous conflagration in Pocomoke’s history” occurred. Originating in an alley on Maple St, the fire swept away the town’s central business district along with residences from 2nd St. to the river. Help came from as far away as Seaford, but poor water pressure hindered firefighting efforts. The National Guard was called in to prevent looting in the fire area. The firehouse burned down in the fire and all records of the fire company prior to 1922 were lost.
1922 As the city rebuilt, Market St was widened and all buildings in the business district were required to be of masonry construction. A new firehouse was erected on Willow St and new modern fire apparatus purchased. The American LaFrance engine purchased in 1923 is still owned by the fire company. Pocomoke had the only fire company for miles around and through the 1950’s was called upon to assist in many small towns and rural areas in Worcester, Somerset and Accomack Counties. Firefighters traveled many miles in open-cab engines in sheepskin coats and goggles
1931 The Ladies Auxiliary was formed and they soon became famous for their chicken and dumpling dinners.
1937 A new firehouse was needed and Chief Fred Henderson began a search for a suitable location. The site on Fifth St at the south end of Maple St was selected and construction began under the Federal Government’s Work Progress Administration.
1939 The new firehouse was dedicated with an elegant second floor banquet room that became the site of many community events
1954 Henry Watson of Watson Funeral Home decided to no longer provide ambulance service to the community and the fire company took on that task. Fire Company ambulance personnel participated in the first CPR classes offered in the country at City Hospital in Baltimore. Training of EMTs began in the early 1970’s.
1973 The first paid EMTs were hired by the fire company – Don and Hannah Malloy.
1997 The ambulance company split from the fire company and formed an independent organization. They soon built their quarters on 8th St and now operates as the City of Pocomoke Department of EMS. Medics are employees of the City
2000 A committee was formed to explore a new firehouse location since we outgrew the 5th St location and the second floor banquet room was not ADA compliant.
2004 The fire company purchased the former Meatland/A&P shopping center at 1410 Market St and design work began on the new structure.
2006 M. L. Blades Construction Company was awarded the contract to build the new firehouse.
2008 The fire company moved into the new firehouse on March 8 and a grand dedication ceremony was held on April 27
2009 M. L. Blades then began work converting the Drug Fair portion of the shopping center into a stunning Community Center with seating for over 400 and full commercial as well as caterer’s kitchens
2010 On April 27, exactly two years after the dedication of the firehouse, the Community Center was dedicated. Over $700,000 was raised in the Capital Campaign to construct the firehouse and Community Center. The Center hosts over 150 events a year.
2013 The Ladies Auxiliary becomes a bona-fide division of the Pocomoke City Volunteer Fire Company and no longer an independent organization. “Ladies” is dropped from the name to reflect that it is open to men as well as women.
Other major City Fires: Marvel Packing Co, Ben Dryden’s Mill, Bull Hatchery, Tilghman Fertilizer, GD Bull Warehouse, Feldman’s Furniture, Pocomoke Elementary School, Pocomoke Pharmacy, Bethany UM Church, former Chesapeake Plywood Plant and Chip Mill
Fire Company Today
We are an all-hazard all-Volunteer emergency response agency with fire, rescue, hazardous materials and special operations capabilities on duty 24/7. All firefighters are trained at the Firefighter 1 level with the majority trained at advanced firefighter, rescue, hazmat, and EMS levels
• 65 active members,
• 10 Cadets (Age 14-18),
• 15 Gold Badge members (at least 55 yrs of age with 20 yrs of service)
• 30 Auxiliary members
• 3 engines, 1 100’ tower truck, 1 rescue truck, 1 tanker, 1 brush unit, 1 command unit, 1 van, 1 utility pick-up truck, 1 rehab trailer
• Average 200 emergency responses a year
Apparatus History – Significant fire equipment acquisitions and unit designation. (Year placed in service may be approximate)
1884 Clapp & Jones Steamer, Serial #454
Both pieces still owned by Fire Company and on display at the firehouse
1920’s Motorized open cab chemical wagon and hose wagon
1923 American LaFrance 1000 GPM triple pumper – still owned by the Fire Company (Engine 1)
1927 American LaFrance pumper (Engine 2)
1930 American LaFrance Foamite pumper (Engine 3)
1940 American LaFrance open cab pumper/ladder truck (Engine 4)
1945 American LaFrance 500 series 7-man canopy cab 750 GPM pumper (Engine 3)
1949 Ford pumper with 500 GPM front-mount pump (Engine 5)
1954 Ward LaFrance 750 GPM open cab pumper (Engine 5)
1956 American LaFrance 800 series cab-forward 1000 GPM pumper with jump seats. This was later converted into the company’s first tanker (Engine 1)
1964 American LaFrance 900 series canopy cab-forward 1000 GPM pumper with jump seats (Engine 2)
1969 American LaFrance 900 series canopy cab-forward 750 GPM pumper with jump seats (Engine 3)
1971 Chevrolet Step Van for rescue service (Rescue 1)
1974 American LaFrance Pioneer 1000 GPM pumper (Engine 4)
1977 Used 1939 Peter Pirsch 60 ft. ladder truck on loan from Ocean City Volunteer Fire Co (Ladder 1)
1978 Chevrolet Brush Truck with skid unit (Brush 1)
1978 Seagrave canopy cab-forward 1250 pumper. Still in service today as Engine 101.
1979 Ford/4 Guys 3500 gallon tanker (Tanker 1)
1982 Used 1962 Ford/Saulsbury 18’ walk-in rescue truck acquired from Ocean City (Rescue 1)
1984 Used 1975 Peterbuilt 3000 gallon tanker donated by Kellam Oil, place in service for a brief period as Tanker 2
1988 International/Saulsbury 16’ walk-in rescue truck. Still in service today as Rescue 1.
1989 Pierce Lance top-mount 1250 GPM pumper. Still in service today as Engine 103.
1994 Ford Brush Truck with skid unit (Brush 1)
1997 Pierce Lance 2000 GPM pumper. Still in service today as Engine 102.
2000 Used 1974 American LaFrance 100’ ladder acquired used from Westminster Fire Co (Ladder 1)
2004 Pierce Dash 1000’ tower truck with 2000 GPM pump (Tower 1)
2010 International/Fireovac 3600 gallon tanker (Tanker 1)
2012 Dodge Brush Truck with skid unit (Brush 1)