Town honors Bel Air fire company for its 125th anniversary

The Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners recognized the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company's 125th anniversary, which the fire company celebrated recently with the public with a 5K run, flea market and muster.

The Aug. 29 celebration went well, Chief Ricky Davis told the commissioners at their town hall meeting Monday night, with an estimated 1,500 people stopping by.


The company also will celebrate this Saturday with a members-only bull roast. Their station will be covered by volunteers from Whiteford and West Friendship volunteer fire companies, Davis said.

West Friendship in Howard County is where Bel Air's paid paramedic, Capt. Erik Steciak, volunteered. He died in the line of duty last winter responding to a call on Patterson Mill Road.

"One-hundred and twenty-five years, that's a pretty impressive record," Mayor Robert Reier said. "I've often talked about the tremendous amount of respect I have, the board does, for the amount of time, dedication and sacrifice you give to the town, not only the present day, but those before you."

He called the volunteers a "rare breed," who make it their first responsibility to protect the town and "be present 24/7, usually under the most dire times of anyone's life."

"Thank goodness individuals such as yourselves as well as the many, many men and women who have preceded you" have been around to respond to emergencies," Reier said, as he presented Davis and BAVFC President Joe Price with the town proclamation.

According to the proclamation, in its first year of incorporation - 1924 - after the reorganization of the Bel Air Fire and Salvage Company, which answered its first call Nov. 23, 1890, volunteers answered 53 alarm calls.

Today, Davis said, the fire company answers more than 10,000 calls a year – in 2014 they responded to 8,000 EMS and 2,200 fire calls.

"I think I speak for each and every citizen of Bel Air of how thankful we are that you're here," Reier said.