Fairfax County Fire and Rescue is sharing some of its history as it celebrates its 70th anniversary.
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In 1949, the Board of Supervisors approved the hiring of firefighters for each of the volunteer stations. In addition, they approved the installation of a central fire alarm system so Police dispatchers “would dispatch the engines from the department or departments nearest the fire and this would eliminate a great deal of confusion.”
On July 1, 1949, the first 10 career firefighters were hired at an annual salary of $2,500… Career firefighters were called “paid men” and served primarily as daytime apparatus drivers. The various chiefs of the volunteer departments would choose the personnel who would be hired by the County and ultimately work for their departments. This practice would continue for many years. As members of their respective volunteer departments these firefighters responded to “after hours” calls from their homes.
The fire department also shared a video of Sgt. Vincent Guidi, a member of the original “Paid Brigade” hired in 1949, sharing memories from his career at the fire department.
Now 70 years later, FCFRD is the largest fire department in Virginia with approximately 1,400 career firefighters, 170 civilians and 370 operational volunteers, according to the fire department.