Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company history

Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company history
The Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company is pictured. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

The Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company began when a small group of citizens met in 1931. The group believed existing fire companies such as Westminster’s were too far away to properly protect their community, taking as much as 20 minutes to respond to a fire call.

Formally, the company organized and became incorporated in March 1931 and the following month, a public meeting was held at the Patriotic Order of Sons of America Lodge Hall in Pleasant Valley.


Forty-six members joined the original company and paid dues of $1.20 per year, according to the the company’s website.

Charles Geiman built the company’s first apparatus, a hand-pulled ladder wagon that carried three poplar wood ladders and 24 buckets, a dozen on each side. The first piece of motorized equipment was a 1933 GMC/LaFrance 350 gallon-per-minute pumper purchased for $3,000.25.

The Patriotic Order of Sons of America let the company use the lodge hall until the company purchased it in 1946 for $2,800.

During early years, the community relied on a phone in a store across the street from the fire stations. Residents would call the store if they had a fire, and the store owner would blow a fire siren, according to a 2003 Carroll County Times article on the company’s history.

The former lodge hall underwent a number of renovations over the years as the company expanded and equipment got larger. A room on the second floor was rented as a barbershop – the only men’s barbershop in town – for $3 per month. In February of 1960, the company borrowed $25,000 to raze the hall, install a new kitchen and purchase a new fire engine.

The company operated out of this building until 1983, when the station at 2030 Pleasant Valley Road was dedicated. The construction of the current facility was done primarily by volunteer members — carpentry, insulation, drywall, landscaping, seeding, and painting — with the exception of the steel and brick exterior.

In 1957, a group of about 10 to 15 women joined together to start a Ladies Auxiliary.

The company added a basic life support ambulance in 1978, which was updated to an advanced life support unit in 1984.

Pleasant Valley is one a three Carroll County fire companies that do not host an annual summer carnival, although it did have one in its early years. The company found more success with its public suppers and weekly bingos, which continue to this day, and later a golf tournament and the fire company’s annual Christmas in the Valley train garden display as popular fundraisers. In the ’50s, the company had sock hops, which were so popular that it was difficult to get tickets.

Today, the fire company operates two engines, a specially designed drafting unit for ponds due to the lack of hydrants in the area, various utility vehicles and Advanced Technical Rescue equipment.

The fire company has one of the largest coverage areas in Carroll County, consisting of approximately 70 square miles.

2030 S. Pleasant Valley Road, Westminster, MD 21158

Phone: 410-848-1977