Lison Volunteer Fire Company
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History of the Lisbon Volunteer Fire Company, Inc.

In October 1944, a small group of men who were concerned with fire protection organized the Lisbon Volunteer Fire Department in the fourth district of Howard County.  The first meeting occurred in the old Lisbon High School at 8:00 p.m., Monday, October 26.  At this meeting, the first officers of the Lisbon Volunteer Fire Department were elected.

In 1945 and official of the Maryland State Firemen?s Association contacted the membership of the fire department inviting them to join the association as an active fire department.  They officially joined the Maryland State Association on October 1, 1945.  In June 1945 the company joined the Howard County Firemen?s Association.  On September 18, 1946 a Certificate of Incorporation was signed by fire department representatives.

On May 2, 1945 a used 1940 Chevrolet truck chassis was acquired from Ed Grimes.  Members constructed the body and mounted the civil defense pump and a 275 gallon tank on it.  Work was completed in July 1945.  This was Lisbon?s first fire truck.  Having no facility in which to house the truck, it was stored in Frank Warners garage in the rear of the former Lisbon Post Office.

On December 12, 1945 a group of women who helped the firemen in fund-raising activities met at Lisbon High School.  During this meeting, the Lisbon Ladies Auxiliary to the Lisbon Volunteer Fire Department was organized.  This organization was formed to support the fire department by holding fund-raisers and by providing canteen services when needed. 

One major fund-raiser that was begun to help defray department expenses was the Lisbon community carnival.  The first carnival was held on August 17, 1946.  Over the years, this annual event took place at several locations; the ground of the Lisbon School, at the Howard County Fairgrounds, and on the present-day fire department property.  The event began as a one-day affair, then became a week-long affair.  The carnival continued until 1985 when insurance costs for the amusement rides became extremely expensive.  With the construction of a modernized Lisbon Elementary School, carnival grounds were limited.  Thus, and annual tradition for thirty-nine years ended.

n October 1949, financial stability allowed the company to purchase a garage from Mrs. Charles DeLashmutt on Frederick Road in Lisbon.  With the help of all the members, renovation of the garage to serve a dual-function of housing the equipment and providing a social hall/meeting room was completed.  On May 17, 1950 the first company meeting was held in the new firehouse engine room.

After two years of planning, on April 5, 1959, Howard County Central Alarm Center was officially placed in service.  The operation of this center combined ambulance, fire, police, and civil defense communication.  Fire companies now received their alarms through a central office.  This method allowed the public to call over a direct line, bypassing the district fire station, and then an operator alerted that station by sounding a siren with a radio-tone signal.  In 1978 the operation was moved to the ground floor of the George Howard Building on Court House Drive in Ellicott City.  On March 15, 1978 the emergency telephone number 911 was put into operation.

After approximately two years of designing and planning, a new firehouse was begun.  The foundation as dug by the Maryland National Guard on April 18, 1959.  The facility would house four pieces of equipment.  Other features were a large social hall for fire company and community activities, a modern kitchen, rest rooms, a communications office, and a tower for drying hoses.  The total cost was $42,000.00.  On April 16, 1960 the final phase of the company's dream had materialized.  An apparatus building with an adjoining hall and kitchen facilities was completed. 

On March 16, 1972 the company voted to initiate ambulance service in the fourth district.  Rapid growth in the community and the demands for expediency in medical services prompted the need for this service.  The dedication of the first ambulance took place on September 29, 1973.  During the first year the ambulance crews responded to 265 calls. 

The application of a female fire fighter, Cindy Farinholt, was accepted on March 3, 1973, changing the structure of the membership in the department.  Today, there are several female firefighters within the department.

The year 1985 saw the beginning of a new era.  Lisbon Volunteer Fire Company was changed to one supplemented with part-time paid personnel.  The company hired EMTs and CRTs who began their duties on July 1, 1985 as the first paid firefighters at Lisbon.  They worked a 10-hour day.  In July 1988 twenty-four-hour CRTs were assigned to Lisbons station.  The ambulance was upgraded to a medic unit when a CRT was on duty.  Moving forward the paid personnel increased to a 24 hour paramedic along with two 10 hour firefighters during the day during the week.  Eventually one of the 10 hour positions was increased to 24 hours to ensure 24/7 coverage for the paramedic unit.

In June of 2017 we an agreement was formed with the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services to staff the station with 4 career firefighters 24/7, 365 days a year to provide a crew for Parakedic 45 and a partial crew for fire suppression that would be supplemented by volunteers.  The following year an additional position was requested to ensure a 3 person suppression crew in the station at all times.  Following with current NFPA guidelines a 4th position is being implemented to fully staff the station.

As the community of Lisbon has undergone changes in the past 75 years, Lisbon Volunteer Fire Company has made many advances necessary to provide adequate fire and safety protection to the community.  Today, the station is staffed with volunteers along with a twenty-four-hour career paramedic unit and fire suppression crew.  We serve the community of Lisbon with a paramedic unit, a basic life support/reserve ambulance, a fire engine, an engine tanker, a rescue/extrication engine, a water source engine, 2 brush units, and several support vehicles.  We are currently constructing a new facility to support the growing community.



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Lisbon Volunteer Fire Co.
P.O. Box 40
Lisbon, MD 21765

Lisbon Volunteer Fire Co.
16104 Frederick Road
Woodbine, MD 21797

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Station: 410-489-4646
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