On February 6, 2018 the Calvert Board of County Commissioners Presented Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad with a plaque, recognizing their outstanding service to the community.
In early 1970 the Prince Frederick VFD had planned to open a sub-station in Huntingtown. Some residents of Huntingtown had a different view and felt that Huntingtown should form its own Fire/Rescue Department, and to that end, six residents met at Gordon Bowen’s home to discuss the matter. In a second meeting, at the American Legion Hall those present voted 34- 9 to proceed in forming its own Volunteer Fire Department.
Donald Bowen and members who attended the original meeting appeared with other citizens before the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and presented their plan to form their own Fire Department & Rescue Squad. Donald Bowen asked that the BOCC give them the OK to proceed as soon as possible, stating it takes a long time for Prince Frederick or North Beach to reach the Huntingtown area in case of fire. At the meeting, Donald, also presented the BOCC with a list of 40 signatures of Huntingtown residents who agreed to volunteer and serve the department. Donald estimated that it would take between $25,000 to $30,000 to start up the new department with a pumper and new fire station.
It took almost 2 years but, on February 24, 1972 the Huntington Volunteer Fire Department was officially formed with between 55-60 Charter members. The 1st Chief was Thomas Brady and Donald Turner served as the first President. The department began operations shortly after they bought a used 1968 Oldsmobile ambulance from the Waldorf VFD. It was purchased with funds raised by the Ladies Auxiliary.
At some point after the department was formed a dicussion on what color the apparatus should be because some felt that they should be a different color than North Beach and Prince Frederick. It was decided to paint the apparatus a very distinct yellow and since the 1961 Ford/American, every apparatus purchased by the department has been painted the distinct yellow.
In 1973 the departments name was changed to the Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad to reflect the rescue services being provided. In 1974 a new Hendrickson/Pierce pumper was ordered from the local Pierce dealer who loaned the department a 1955 Ford/American pumper to use until the new unit was delivered. The new pumper was delivered in 1976 replacing the 1955 Ford/American.
The first call for help came on October 15, 1974; an emergency transport to the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore. The first fire call came on October 23 for a brush fire on Route 4, north of Huntingtown. During the first three months of operation, 23 fire calls and 76 EMS calls were answered.
Today, the department has 110 members with 80 riding members. The department is under the direction of Chief Michael Clark on the Suppression/Operations side and President Jason Jones on the Administrative side. The first due area is approximately 45 sq. miles, the largest in Calvert County and covers a mix of residential, commercial/retail and rural areas. It also covers several miles of shoreline on the Chesapeake Bay on the east side of the district and the Patuxent River on the west side of the first due area. The area includes several grain silos, several day care centers, retail and commerical buildings and busy Route 2/4, the north/south corridor in Calvert County.
EMS calls are handled by about 60-70 EMT’s and 10 Paramedics. Both of Huntingtown’s ambulances are Ford PL Custom III units equipped for both BLS and ALS.
Funding for the department’s annual operational expenses comes from some county monies, banquet hall rental, weekly bingo, annual fund drive and their annual Corvette raffle. The department’s fleet consists of 2 engines, a squad, a tanker, brush unit, a jeep brush unit, two ambulances, and 3 command units.
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon