The Solomons Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad was invited to the Calvert Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) to receive recognition for their volunteer service.
The rescue squad in Calvert County was an evolutionary movement in response to an increasing population that would bring about the inevitable occurrence of accidents, illnesses, and other mishaps.
During October 1954, a group of local men met initially at the Solomons Island Yacht Club to consider the need for an emergency rescue service in Calvert County. After additional meetings and first aid classes, the Calvert County Volunteer Rescue Squad was formed. The Rescue Squad commenced operations serving Calvert County on 1 January 1955 with a 1955 Studebaker ambulance. At 4:30 that same day, they answered the first emergency call and were credited with saving the lives of two men that had become overcome with carbon monoxide poisoning.
Initially, the ambulance was housed in an unheated metal shed at the end of the island Calvert near Bowen’s Inn. At this time, there was no radio and the members had to be contacted through a direct telephone line to their homes. In 1955, operations were modified when a building (formerly Rubin’s Department Store) was purchased north of the island near the present location of Holiday Drive. Calvert Rescue Squad was assigned a radio frequency and all units were equipped with radios in 1962.
Locally, the need for fire services became apparent necessitating addition of the Fire Division to Calvert Rescue Squad in 1963. Prior to this, the closest fire companies were in Prince Frederick (est. 1940), and North Beach (est. 1926). With the Fire Division came the need for a fire engine. This engine was a 1963 International 550 GPM front-mount pumper. The Fire Division became operational on 18 September 1963.
In the mid-1960’s, the other fire companies in Calvert County had commenced rescue operations and the system of first due areas for each company had been incorporated into fire and rescue operations. In December 1967, the department became the Solomons Volunteer Rescue Squad and Fire Department (SVRSFD).
The company’s fire and rescue mission was expanded in 1974 to include water rescue and firefighting when a fire / rescue boat was placed in service.
In response to the increased volume of fire calls, the need for a larger station house led to the purchase of 7.5 acres of land at the corner of Dowell Rd. and Rt. 765 in the late 1970’s. The firehouse cost $324,000 and had 4 engine bay doors making it substantially larger than the previous one. The keys to the building were handed over on February 22, 1980. This building (with additions) is now today’s Main Station.
There was soon a need for further expansion as the existing station was insufficient to meet the needs of a growing community. An addition was added that included 2 more engine bays and a separate area for administration and training. A further addition in 1990 created four additional equipment bays that now house the ambulances and Boat 3.
The final expansion of the Solomons Volunteer Rescue Squad and Fire Department occurred in 1991 when a 3-acre piece of land was purchased on Little Cove Point Rd. The Sub-Station, a 2-engine-bay building, was established to improve response in the northern end of our first due area.
The Solomons Volunteer Rescue Squad and Fire Department (formerly Calvert Rescue Squad) observed its golden anniversary (50 years) in 2005.
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon