History of the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue System
Fire & Rescue Stations
A 1923 fire engine in Purcellville.
In the 1800s, Loudoun County was an agricultural community with neighbors having sprawling farm lands.
First Fire Company
The first fire company in Loudoun County was formed on November 13, 1803 in Leesburg, an unincorporated town of about five hundred inhabitants. By petition as entered into the County Deed Books, forty-eight citizens opened the first chapter: “We the subscribers Residents in the Town of Leesburgh do agree (according to Act of Assembly) to form ourselves into a fire company…”
In Leesburg (and, later, in other communities) a bell was used to indicate alarm. Upon hearing the bell, the citizens would rush to the scene while members of the Fire Company would respond with buckets, hose carts and hand pumpers. The first hand pumper was probably purchased between 1803 and 1809; its earliest documented use was in 1819.
Change in Name
The Leesburg Fire Company changed names several times during its first hundred years. Several years after the Fire Company of Leesburgh was formed, a Relief Fire Company was incorporated, whose purpose was to provide “relief” manpower to the original fire company on large incidents. Other names included the Star, Virginia, Union and Friendship. The arrangement of two fire companies serving the same town continued sporadically through the next century, until the two were combined in 1907 under the name, Leesburg Fire Company. The word “volunteer” was added later.
Over the years, Loudoun’s fire and rescue system has evolved, adopting new technologies and adapting to changing demographics. Today, Loudoun County has more than 1,500 volunteer members and approximately 500 career personnel to answer the calls of fire and rescue emergencies. The combination volunteer and career personnel system staffs more than twenty stations.
Each fire and rescue station has an interesting history. That history ranges from community members housing buckets, hose carts, a borrowed milk truck or an abandoned Hurst stored in a driveway to answer a neighbor’s call for help due to a fire, or to transport a neighbor to the hospital. To find out more about your local fire and rescue station, please call or visit your station. The men and women who operate these stations are community members like yourself, and are anxious to share their enthusiasm as members of Loudoun’s fire and rescue system.
You can find a list of current Loudoun County Fire-Rescue stations h?ere.