Reese and Community Volunteer Fire Company history

Reese and Community Volunteer Fire Company history
Engineer Mike Moser checks the pumping system of Engine 91 at the Reese and Community Fire Company. Equipment at the station is checked daily to make sure everything is running properly. (Ken Koons / Carroll County Times)

In 1947, nine men gathered at Caple’s garage in Reese to discuss starting a fire company. Holloday Blizzard, a charter member, told the Carroll County Times in 2003 that a local boy wanted to build a fire engine, which motivated some older men to get the ball rolling.

After pooling money to purchase postcards to be sent to the surrounding community, a meeting was called for Jan. 26, 1948 to discuss the pros and cons. By April of that year, the Reese and Community Volunteer Fire Company was incorporated, and its ladies auxiliary founded shortly thereafter.


In May 1948, the company ordered an International KB-8 chassis with a KB-10 engine from the Gore Motor Company of Westminster and purchased a 600 gallons-per-minute American Marsh ump and a 350 gpm portable pump. The total cost of the equipment was $20,000.

A building provided by Edna Caple was used to house the equipment, but needed much renovation to do so. That work was completed in March 1949 and the building served as the permanent firehouse and meeting place until the current firehouse on Route 140 opened in 1955.

In the early days, calls were made to one number but rang phones in three places: Stewart Green, Shipley’s Restaurant and Edna Caple’s home. Whoever answered first would contact the station via an intercom.

The first carnivals were held in the 1940s, on the grounds of Sandymount Elementary School. The existing 16.5-acre carnival grounds were purchased from Stoner’s Nursey in October 1950 for $5,000; it was around this time the company considered purchasing a tract of land next to the then firehouse. It was purchased in April 1954 for $2,000 and ground for the new building was broken that August.

In addition to the annual carnivals, the company would host chicken or oyster suppers. At one of the earliest of these dinners, more than 1,000 people came.

In 1970, the members agreed to hold bingo on Thursday nights. The first bingo at the Reese fire hall took place Aug. 6, 1970 and has been a successful fundraiser for the company ever since.

During Hurricane Agnes in 1972, the company was directly involved with the rescue of five people at Martin Long’s store and apartments in Carrollton, according to the company’s website.

The company began running an engine on cardiac cases in 1979 to gauge interest in ambulance services. By Oct. 1, 1983, the company had purchased its first ambulance and it was put in service. In 1989, the ambulance was upgraded to medic unit status after the ladies auxiliary donated a cardiac monitor.

In 1995, several members of the company lent a hand for the pope’s visit to Baltimore. Engine 91 was chosen to participate in the helicopter landing site detail at St. Mary’s Seminary when the pope arrived.

1745 Baltimore Blvd., Westminster, MD 21157

Phone: 410-848-7172