As Bel Air and Harford County evolves, there are a few reminders that remain to show us a bit of what Bel Air used to be like and where it has come from. For me, one of those reminders is the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company. Formally founded in 1890, it currently consists of an all volunteer fire service and auxiliary and a combination of volunteer/paid emergency medical service. All together BAVFC has over 175 members and responds to over 8,000 calls for service each year. (You can find more statistics and interesting facts here.) Volunteer firefighting is a long tradition in the US with some 70% of all fire services being volunteer. That tradition is alive and carried on in Bel Air.
My initial idea for this post was to write some history of the department, but there is a tremendous writeup of the history of BAVFC on the website at www.BAVFC.org. It is a great read when you have the time and also tells a lot of the history of both the town of Bel Air and of BAVFC.
This Saturday, October 3rd from 10-3 at the main station in Bel Air (109 S. Hickory Ave.) is the annual open house for BAVFC. It is a great time to casually tour the fire house, let your kids climb through the trucks, look at the tools used and see several demonstrations during the day. It is a very family friendly day and there are typically refreshments available. There will be plenty of members on hand to answer questions. Your kid can even take a turn manning a fire hose on the front ramp.