With the demolition of their nearly 60-year-old structure pending and the start of a multi-million dollar construction project to follow, members of the Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department (Company 2) met Aug. 7 for the last night in their current building. Company officials declared the gathering “the end of an era.”
The Prince Frederick company was originally chartered in 1926, but disbanded five years later.
The department was reorganized in 1940 with a charter issued one year after that. A one-story, four-bay firehouse was opened in 1960 with two major expansions done later.
The present structure is two stories tall and has seven bays.
Recently, the Calvert County Commissioners awarded a contract to S.E. Davis for demolition and reconstruction of the firehouse at the current location on northbound Route 2/4 and Old Field Lane.
The project will cost more than $9.55 million and be funded with the sale of general obligation bonds. The new building will be nearly 30,000 square feet.
The targeted completion of the project is spring 2021.
Bobby Hall, the current chairman of the Calvert County Fire and Rescue Commission and a lifetime member of Company 2, told The Calvert Recorder that among the features of the new building will be a “small museum,” which will house a historic truck and include the firehouse pole that had been utilized in the old building.
Among the members on hand for the last meeting was Vernon Horsmon Sr., a lifetime member who served as Company 2’s chief for 28 years.
The last meeting in the old firehouse occurred in the middle of a busier-than usual week for Company 2.
In addition to the transition to a temporary headquarters, the department also co-hosted a major fundraiser at the fairgrounds Saturday. Tuesday night was also busy.
“We are all over the community tonight,” said Deputy Chief Ben Ridgley who headed up the crew taking Tower 2 to three locations — Calvert Pines, Prince Frederick Crossing and College Station — for National Night Out. Other members and vehicles visited Bayside Forest, the Prince Frederick Community Center, Patuxent View, Carroll Western United Methodist Church, Symphony Woods, Yardley Hills and Oakland Hall.
As of Thursday, the Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department had moved its base of operations to a temporary location — the Old National Guard Armory complex located on Armory Road between Dares Beach Road and Steeple Chase Drive.
“During this period we ask the public to be on heightened alert for increased responding emergency vehicle activity in areas that were not previously typical,” a press release from Company 2 stated. “These include Armory Road between Steeple Chase Drive and Dares Beach Road, the Dares Beach/Armory Road traffic circle, Dares Beach Road/Route 4 intersection and Steeple Chase Drive/Route 4 intersection.”