Rosedale Volunteer Fire Company

The Rosedale Volunteer Fire Company was organized in 1930 and it was the first volunteer fire department in the eastern part of Baltimore County.  According to historians, the community had refused a paid fire company because Rosedale was too close to the Baltimore City line.  At this time, the only fire protection provided to the community of Rosedale was by the Fullerton and Essex stations.  The ironic thing was that, on many occasions, the other fire stations equipment was busy in their own area and by the time other equipment reached Rosedale, it was usually too late to save the burning buildings.

        In May of the same year, the pro-volunteers met at the White House Inn on Philadelphia Road to form the department.   They soon purchased a used fire engine from the Abingdon Volunteer Fire Company in Harford County for $1500.00.  It was a Mack Model BG, 500-gpm rotary pumper with a 300 gallon tank.  The engine was first housed at Heinbuch's florist shop on Philadelphia Road, then in a wagon shed behind Seward's store.  The old Rosedale School was remodeled in 1935 as the new, now old, Rosedale Volunteer Fire Company station.  In 1989, the new and current Rosedale Volunteer Fire Company location was completed.  Its location is one-half mile east of the old station.  

The current station houses 2 fire engines (281/282), 1 ambulance (285), 1 special unit (283), 1 brush truck (284), and 2 utility trucks (286/287).  During the winters, the Central Alarmer's also store one of the fireground rehabilitation units in our station.

Rosedale Volunteer Fire Company has also boasted a number of training "firsts" among volunteer companies statewide:

  • First pumping school for volunteer fireman.

  • First volunteer Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and CPR training.

  • First nuclear decontamination and hazardous material training.

  • First volunteer company trained in Hazardous Materials Response

  • First volunteer ambulance company to have it's EMT's receive formal, in-hospital training.

        Rosedale's professional volunteers are as diverse as society itself.  They currently include business owners and managers, professional engineers, state, county and city policemen, medical technologists, construction workers, career firefighters and paramedics, as well as many others.

        The company's call area extends from the Baltimore City line eastward along  the Pulaski Highway corridor as well as Interstate 95 north to the Beltway.  It runs as far north as Rossville and Overlea, and south to where Eastern Avenue meets the city line.  Rosedale is the primary fire company for commerce and industry along Pulaski Highway and in the Rosedale Industrial Park, the Canton Industrial Park, and the Pulaski Industrial Park.  The closest paid fire company is the Golden Ring Fire Station 16 located on Golden Ring Road at the north-eastern end of the Rosedale community.

        Today, Rosedale Volunteer Fire Company is one of the busiest volunteer fire companies in all of Baltimore County.  


NOTE: Information gathered from "Hands, Horses and Engines: A Centennial History of the Baltimore County Fire Service"


First Minutes and Reports from 1930

            On the above date, the following men visited the County Commissioners at Towson, to talk over the situation of organizing a Volunteer Fire Co. in Rosedale.

            Mr. W.O. Culberson,     Mr. R.W. Goodrich,     Mr. Vernon R. Groff.

            Our plans were laid before the commissioners, and they in turn pledged their support in this movement.

            On Tuesday May 27th, 1930.  A meeting was called at Kahlers Hall for the purpose of organizing.  At this meeting much sentiment was expressed, opposing this movement, by members of the Community Improvement Association, headed by Mr. L.W. Dill.

            The following men, however, signed their names in favor of the organization.  Mr. Vernon Scheeler, Mr. Richard Winslow, Mr. George LaFarge, Mr. Robert Goodrich, Mr. W.O. Culberson, Mr. Ralph C. Powell, Mr. J.W. VonHagel, Mr. J.J. VonHagel, Mr. R. Tull, and Mr. Vernon R. Groff.

            At this meeting officers were elected as follows, Mr. Robert Goodrich, President.  Mr. Vernon R. Groff, Secretary, and Mr. Ralph C. Powell, Treasurer.

On June 2, 1930, the following men were elected:

        W.O. Culberson was elected Fire Chief.

        Vernon Scheeler we elected Captain.

        John Kahler was elected Lieutenant.

        J.W. VonHagel was elected Engine Driver #1

        Fred. Peper was elected Engine Driver #2

        Albert Robl was elected Engine Driver #3

        Chas. Koerber was elected Engine Driver #4