How It All Began

In the fall of 1973, Buddy May, Otis Norwood, Roger “Chick” Myers and Ed Calloway were at the old Hyattstown Diner having coffee when Chick asked Buddy “Why not start a fire department in Urbana?” Buddy had tried to get support for a company in the past but was rejected. Otis, Chick and Ed pledged their support if he would organize one. With the assistance of Avon Chisholm, Buddy applied for a charter for a fire department with the State of Maryland. On December 11, 1973, two charters issued. The Urbana Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. and the Urbana Volunteer Rescue Squad, Inc. were officially on record. News of the newly formed fire and rescue company hit the papers and our membership grew tremendously at the January and February meetings.

Mr. Joe Knott Sr. donated the use of our first quarters. With improvements, we were able to meet the standards of the Frederick County Fireman’s Association. Numerous fundraisers were held and through the generous donation of their grounds from the Hyattstown VFD, we had our first carnival.

The Fifth District VFD of Clarksville MD donated the first ambulance, a 1963 Cadillac. The Kensington VFD donated a second ambulance, a 1969 Chevrolet Suburban. The Rescue Squad was officially in service and would answer 71 alarms by years end. Our long search for a permanent station site came to an end in 1975 when the department purchased 10.764 acres of land from Mr. Arthur Keyes for $53,820.00. Our fundraising intensified and the community responded with overwhelming support to help us meet our deadline.

With a one-year loan from community residents and members, Roy Myers and Lawrence Wilcom, we were able to purchase a 1972 Ford LaFrance, 750 GPM pumper for $27,000.00 from Honeywell Corporation in New Jersey. The department was accepted as a member of the Frederick County Volunteer Fireman’s Association in March and Engine 231 was placed in service on April 1st.

was paid off in the fifth year of a 20 year term and the note was burned in a ceremony during the annual banquet.