Winfield Community Volunteer Fire Department history

Winfield Community Volunteer Fire Department history
Equipment is at the ready at the Winfield Community Fire Company. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

Residents of the Winfield community in 1964 had tired of relying on fire companies more than 10 miles away in Sykesville, Mount Airy, New Windsor and Libertytown, so several residents – most of whom were farmers – called a meeting at Winfield Elementary School on Salem Bottom Road.

Soon after, officers were elected and the company purchased a 1947 Mack tanker with 700-gallon capacity for $1,900 from the Rosedale Fire Company in Baltimore County. A couple in Winfield then sold the company about five acres on Old Liberty Road for $2,000, next to South Carroll High School.


Roughly 40 members agreed to take 60 hours of basic training provided by the University of Maryland, College Park, soon after the Winfield company formed.

With no firehouse, the members met at a stone farmhouse owned by Raymond Grimes. The tanker was kept in a garage at the farm until the company opened its own fire station in June 1966. The website also notes that Grimes donated a pony for the fire company’s first fundraising project.

On Jan. 6, 1965, the company met at Grimes’ farm, with 82 members of the fire company and 23 members of the Ladies Auxiliary. They voted to change the official name of the department to Winfield Community Volunteer Fire Department Inc.

The company’s first carnival took place later that year. The raffle consisted of a 7 HP garden tractor, a portable TV and a 12-gauge shotgun, all donated by members of the community.

In August 1965, the company accepted building plans for a 50-by-100-foot structure with four bays and a kitchen in the back. Cost of the construction was about $32,600 and, according to a history on the Winfield fire company’s website, at the time it was built, the Winfield fire station was one of the largest in Carroll County. It was dedicated on June 11, 1966. Maryland Comptroller Louis Goldstein made a dedication address and Charles Smelser, who would serve in the state Senate, was the master of ceremonies.

Shortly after the station opened in 1966, the company purchased a custom-built Pioneer American LaFrance fire truck with a diesel motor for $22,300, along with a portable pump, smoke ejector and a generator.

Also in 1966, the company held its first annual banquet at Morgan Chapel Church, where 35 men who had completed basic training were awarded badges.

In 1966, the company began sponsoring Boy Scout Troop 733, which it continues to charter to this day.

Winfield had not been granted membership into the Maryland State Firemen’s Association when it formed because its fire engine was 17 years old. The association’s requirement was a fire engine less than 10 years old for membership. But with the arrival of the company’s new custom-built White American LaFrance Detroit Diesel with gold lead trim in 1967, Winfield was accepted into the Carroll County Volunteer Firemen’s Association and confirmed as the 302nd fire department in the MSFA.

The company added its first female firefighter to the crew in the late 1960s.

In the 1970s, on the carnival grounds, a permanent building was added with work for the project done by the South Carroll High School Vocational Tech class. This block building remained in use until 2004 when it was upgraded with a larger structure.

The Patapsco River flooded in 1971 and the Winfield company made several rescues.

The company started up an Ambulance Committee and requested permission from the Carroll County Volunteer Ambulance Association to establish an ambulance service. The company purchased an orthopedic stretcher, and the Taylorsville-Winfield Lions Club agreed to provide oxygen for the ambulance, which arrived in 1972 for $16,000.

In 1975, the company held a mock disaster drill at the Salem Church to test Winfield's ability to handle large-scale emergencies. The drill included a furnace explosion with more than 30 simulated casualties. Companies from Westminster, Gamber, Sykesville, New Windsor and Mount Airy attended the drill.


The Winfield Junior Fire Department was created in June of 1985.

In August 1986, the firehouse was struck by lightning. Damage included the bingo board and the ice machine.

The Board of Directors voted in August 1988 to hire part-time paid EMS personnel. On Oct. 16 of that year, the first part-time paid personnel began at Winfield.

In 1996, charter member and past president Howard Legore was inducted into the Carroll County Firemen’s Association Hall of Fame.

1320 W. Old Liberty Road, Sykesville, MD 21784

Phone: 410-795-1333