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The History of Volunteer Fire/Rescuers in Montgomery County

On May 5, 1915 a fire destroyed the Silver Spring Post Office along with all of its contents. As a result an alarmed community formed the village fire brigade which later became the Silver Spring Volunteer Fire Company. This volunteer fire station would be the first of many more stations to serve and protect Montgomery County, Maryland.

The initial meeting of the village fire brigade was held at B. R. Gannon's Hall at which time William Jouvenal was elected as the first president of the brigade. Joseph Glover was elected as its first secretary. F. N. Oden was unanimously chosen as its first chief. A constitution and by-laws were adopted and J. Herbert Cissel tendered the use of a small shed in the rear of Mattingly and Dudley's Pharmacy as a meeting place and a shelter for the members and their meager fire fighting apparatus.

In 1915, public water supply was non-existent. The first firefighting tools of the new company consisted of a cart made from the two wheels of a discarded grain drill. The cart was loaded with red buckets, axes, hose and lanterns. Fifteen hand chemical extinguishers were scattered at advantageous locations throughout the community. Two ladders usually remained at the shed due to great difficulty in carrying them.