History of the Seat
Pleasant Volunteer Fire Company, Inc
The SEAT PLEASANT VOLUNTEER FIRE AND COMMUNITY WELFARE ASSOCIATION, INC
was organized in 1915 and incorporated in 1916 by a civic minded group of Seat
Pleasant citizens for the purpose of providing fire protection for their
neighbors and towns people. As a welfare
group, the fire department members provided food baskets and clothing for
unfortunate persons in the area of Seat Pleasant during the Thanksgiving and
Christmas Holidays. This charity service
continued for a period of more than thirty years.
The original firehouse building was
a single story one-bay masonry structure which was later expanded with the
addition of a second story and widening to accommodate three pieces of
apparatus. Our first piece of fire
apparatus was a Model T Ford Smith-Form-A-Truck, built from a 1916 Model T
Ford, carrying two 30-gallon soda-acid chemical tanks; 200 feet of ¾ inch
booster hose and 300 feet of 2 ½ inch fire hose. The 2 ½ inch fire hose was
donated by the District of Columbia Fire Department. This piece also contained
the usual complement of axes, two portable 2 ½ Soda-Acid Fire extinguishers,
and rope for pulling down chimneys. In addition, the truck carried a 14 ft
ladder and ceiling hook.
Apparatus through the years
included: 1926 Reo; a 1936 peter Pirsch 500 GPM Pumper, used continuously until
1960; a 1930 Mack Light Truck with a 10,000 watt generator (this truck was used
to great extent in 1951 during Hurricane Hazel, in the recovery operations of a
large yacht that broke up in turbulent waters off North Beach, Maryland); a
1948 Peter Pirsch 750 GPM Pumper; a 1948 and a 1956 Cadillac Ambulance.
The first alert-siren ever used by
the department was a World War I vintage Air-Raid Siren that had been located
atop the District Building at 14th and E Streets NW Washington, DC.
This siren was donated by the District of Columbia Government and was used
continuously for 39 years by Company 8. Until early 1965 this same siren was
still in use, on loan to the Bryan’s Road Fire Department in Charles County,
MD. It too, was their first siren.
Seat Pleasant has enjoyed the honor
of furnishing many fine leaders to the County Association, two of whom were
elected County President: Clarence M. Mace and John McBrown.
Upon issuance of a new charter in
1956, the organization changed its name to the SEAT PLEASANT VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY, INC. As our company number “8” indicates, we were one of the original organizing companies of
the Prince George’s County Volunteer Firemen’s Association. Mr. Ralph White was one of the the Charter
members of the county association. He later served as its treasurer.
Seat Pleasant was the originator of
the “1/10 of 1% Fire Tax” idea and was instrumental in the passage of the first
“Election District Fire Tax.” It has always been the goal of this organization
to promote new and diverse ideas to benefit the member companies of the county
The original firehouse was locate at
6816 Roosevelt Ave (now Martin Luther King Hwy) and was built of donated materials and labor furnished by
the towns people of Seat Pleasant. This site is later occupied by a Suburban
Trust Company. Our present building was
constructed in 1958 at “No. 50” Addison Rd (now 6305 Addison Rd) on property obtained from the town.
This department enjoyed having a
very active Ladies Auxiliary and they cooperated in every function of the fire
department. They operated BINGO and other fund raising activities to the extent
of having contributed more than $40,000 to the department in over twelve years.
Those fine women also served as volunteer firefighters and manned apparatus
during the Second World War when members were scarce.
An interesting highlight of the
department’s heritage was “Duffy’s Stadium,” which was located in the now 6800
Blk of Martin Luther King Jr Hwy (formally George Palmer Hwy), was owned and
operated by the Seat Pleasant Fire Department. The stadium drew large crowds to
professional boxing matches, football, baseball, soccer, and many other
activities. This enterprise flourished until after WWII.
Pleasant is proud of its leader both past & present. One such man was Irwin
I. Main, who served as Chief of Seat Pleasant VFC for over 18 years, also
served as the PG County Government Chairman of the Maryland National Capital
Park and Planning Commission for serval terms. Another famous member was George
N. Palmer, who laid the first brick in the old firehouse building. Maryland
Route 704 was named in memory of him.
apparatus as of January 1, 2010 includes:
“82” 2009 Seagrave Marauder
“83” 1995 E-One
HME Heavy Rescue Squad (County Owned and now deadlined)
Freightliner Ambulance (County Owned)
Buggy 2007 Chevy Tahoe
Chevy Lumina Station Car
During our 50th
Anniversary, our apparatus included:
Peter Pirsh 750 GPM Pumper
Peter Pirsh 750 GPM Pumper
GMC Heavy Duty Rescue Squad
1962 International Travel-All Ambulances
Pirsh-international 500 GPM Pumper
Bruco-Ford Squad Truck
years of hard work and tradition are the result of an extremely dedicated
membership who have helped build a fine and worthwile fire protection
organization for the people they serve.