The History of the Volunteer Fire Department of Brandywine
After World War II, the southern corridor of Prince George’s County began to experience rapid growth particularly in the Brandywine area. The Prince George’s Fireman’s Association recognized the need for an additional fire company in the area as it would bring some relief to the overworked companies of Accokeek, Clinton, Forestville and Upper Marlboro. The Association directed Mr. Pete Dorsey of the Marlboro VFD to contact local civic groups about forming a volunteer fire department in the Brandywine, Baden and Aquasco areas. On January 31, 1955, Mr. Dorsey attended a Lions Club meeting to state his case. As a result of that meeting, Mr. Joseph N. Ridgely Jr., was temporarily elected President and Mr. Ed Middleton was elected Secretary.
Three months later, on March 7, 1955, a community meeting was held in which approximately 150 people who expressed unanimous approval of the plan to establish the Baden-Aquasco VFD. Officers were elected and corporation papers were drawn up to start the process of forming a volunteer fire company in the area. Mr. Ridgely who was elected president, appointed a committee to locate a site for the construction of the first firehouse. In a special meeting on April 24, 1955, Mr. George Curtis reported that a location had been found and it would be built in Baden, five miles south of the more populated area that was originally proposed. In May 1955, several members of the original group resigned and established The Volunteer Fire Department of Brandywine Inc. In September of 1955, the foundation for the firehouse was laid on property donated by retired Prince George’s County Court Judge, Alan Bowie.
The certificate of corporation for The Volunteer Fire Department of Brandywine Inc was signed on December 30th 1955. The first engine owned by Brandywine VFD was purchased from the Mount Rainer VFD.
In July of 1956 an application for inspection and membership was submitted to the Prince George’s County Volunteer Fireman’s Association. The department passed inspection and on August 8, 1956. The department was accepted into the association and assigned Company 40.
In 1969, the Hill Corporation was contracted to construct two addition engine bays and the department purchased a new Hahn pumper. In 1970, a second Hahn pumper was purchased to replace the worn out engines that had faithfully served Brandywine VFD. In June 1971, Brandywine added a Jeep to it’s expanding fleet to combat brush and grass fires. In 1974, Brandywine purchased a second hand rescue squad from Cottage City VFD, and after refurbishing the unit, the first Rescue Squad 40 was placed in service.
In 1987, Brandywine ordered two new engines to replace Engine 401 and Engine 402. Engine 401 was a 1969 Hahn and Engine 402 was a 1971 Hahn. In October of 1993, a new Rescue Squad 40 was placed in service. The new squad is a 1993 Pierce Arrow, replacing the original Squad 40.
Brandywine V.F.D. continues to grow to meet the needs of the community and the citizens of Brandywine now and in the future….