Frederick County Company #6        Est. 1884

The VHC is excited to announce our partnership with an online Auction service that will directly benefit our company and the community based on the traffic and proceeds we generate. Click here for details.

VHC Holds Annual Banquet

Emmitsburg, Md.

The Vigilant Hose Company held it's annual Banquet Saturday January 2 at Mother Seton School. During the event several members were honored for their service. Below are the two newest members of the Vigilant Hose Company Hall of Fame.

Newest VHC Hall of Fame  Inductees
Bob Rosensteel Sr. Wayne Powell
Chiefs Award Presidents Award Member of the Year
Cliff Shriner Elyssa Cool Jim Click

More Banquet Pictures

Bill Ryan/The Gazette
Architect, Michael Profitt was thanked by building committee chairman John Damskey for his help in rebuilding the Vigilant Hose Company fire house in Emmitsburg, during the 125th anniversary celebration at the fire house on Sunday October 25, 2009.

Inside a garage that usually only houses standard fire station equipment — an engine, emergency vehicles, fire suits and helmets — a huge crowd of people gathered on Sunday to celebrate Vigilant Hose Company's 125th anniversary.

"It was more than we expected," Frank Davis, the company's president, said of the turnout.

Recently appointed U.S. Fire Administrator Kelvin Cochran spoke at the event, calling himself an "indirect citizen" of Emmitsburg because it serves as the home of the U.S. Fire Administration and the National Fire Academy.

"This fire company represents all that we try to achieve in the fire service," Cochran said. The Vigilant Hose Company is "one of the greatest, if not the greatest," volunteer fire companies in the country, he said.

One thing that was emphasized throughout the celebration, during speeches by Cochran and members of the company, is that Vigilant Hose has remained entirely staffed by volunteers throughout its 125 years — a modern rarity — and has seen huge involvement within families.

Many current members aren't the only person in their family who serves in the company. Tom Hoke, a nearly 70-year member, is the son of the first recorded chief of Vigilant Hose, Joseph Hoke.

Davis said his family is four generations deep in the company. He reflected on a time before Sept. 11 when Emmitsburg used "fire phones" — certain community members had them in their homes or businesses, where people would call in case of emergency.

There were several throughout the town, he said, but his family had the main one at its The Palms restaurant, which was staffed 18 hours per day, seven days per week and was across the street from the fire station.

It wasn't food service tasks that new restaurant employees learned first, "it was what you did when the fire phone rang," Davis said in a pre-taped interview for a short commemorative film made for the occasion. The next step in the process was for someone to ring the bell on the front of the station, alerting volunteers of an emergency.

Member Bob Rosensteel Sr., remarked in the film that a past Vigilant Hose chief was also a barber in town. When the fire bell would toll signifying an emergency, customers were sometimes left with half a haircut, he said.

In addition to celebrating 125 years of service to the community, the event also served to unveil the newly renovated station.

The right wing of the building was essentially demolished and rebuilt, a $1.7 million project. It now houses exercise equipment, laundry machines, two freezers, a storage area, administrative offices, a lounge and kitchenette, a bunk area, showers and lockers.

It now has the ability to temporarily house residents who are displaced by a town emergency.

"The men and women of this company deserved something better than what they had," said John Damskey, the company's vice president.

"It suits the men and women of today and it will suit the men and women of tomorrow," he said.

According to Tim Clarke, the company's spokesman, funding for the project came entirely from fundraising and community support. While Davis joked to the crowd that the Baltimore Ravens' bye-week was the reason for the event being held on Sunday, it was actually the only open weekend the company had in the fall, due in large part to pre-scheduled fundraising events.

A painting by local artist Rebecca Pearl, featuring images from the company's past and present, was also unveiled at the ceremony. Performances by The Fire Brigade Pipes and Drums of Greater Baltimore, Inc. served as entertainment, but the group also played "Amazing Grace" to honor fallen firefighters.

Vigilant Hose Company DVD Announcement

We are proud to announce that the Vigilant Hose Company DVD project is completed! Thanks to all VHC members and affiliates who participated in this project.

The DVD contains a look at the history, volunteers, and the community that make the VHC successful. It also contains special features including a full tour of the Firehouse at VHC conducted by Wayne Powell, as well as footage from this Summer's VHC picnic.

We're also very grateful to our corporate sponsors who helped make this project possible:

  • Mount St. Mary's University

  • The Emmitsburg Glass Company

  • The Carriage House Inn

  • The Sleep Inn

  • Antiques Folly

We are currently taking pre-orders for the DVD online at,  and they will be available on Sunday, Oct. 25 at the VHC Anniversary Celebration as well. Cost of the DVD is $20; however, VHC members can get the DVD at ONLY $15 at the VHC event. A portion of the sales of this DVD will be donated back to the Vigilant Hose Company.

With more than 100 active members and scores of support members between the Auxiliary, the Fire Corps, and the Fire Police, the Vigilant Hose Company of Emmitsburg, MD is an example to the nation of what volunteers can do for a community. Having served Emmitsburg and the surrounding area with fire and emergency services for the past 125 years, the Vigilant Hose Company continues to be an all-volunteer organization which sets the bar high for its members’ professionalism, the department’s state-of-the-art apparatus, as well as its community involvement.

Because of its close proximity to the National Emergency Training Center, the Vigilant Hose Company has become one of the most visited fire stations in the world with thousands of visitors each year. 

This DVD project honors the men and women who have committed their lives to making the Vigilant Hose Company an example for the nation!  

Miss Fire Prevention Named

By Member Amanda Soper October 7, 2009

Pictured l-r: Miss Fire Prevention, Elyssa Cool; Jr Miss Fire Prevention, Jessica Lapole

The Miss Frederick County Fire Prevention Contest was held Sunday night at the Walkersville VFD.

Two contestants competed for the Jr Miss title, while three contestants competed for the Miss title.

Tammy Johns from Frederick was chosen the first runner-up for Jr. Miss and Jessica Lapole from Jefferson was chosen Jr. Miss Frederick County Fire Prevention 2009-2010.

Next, Laura Wenner from Jefferson was chosen 1st runner-up for Miss Fire Prevention and Elyssa Cool from Emmitsburg was named Miss Frederick County Fire Prevention 2009-2010. Brandy Miller from Lewistown rounded out the top three.

All of these girls did a wonderful job and deserve a lot of credit. They are very dedicated in what they do and we hope to see all of them throughout the year promoting fire prevention. If you would like to invite the new Queens to attend your department function, please feel free to contact Sherry or Mandy Soper.

If We Can't Find You, We Can't Help You!

House numbers should be:

  • In plain, block numerals on a contrasting background.
  • Unobstructed and large enough to be seen from the road.
  • Facing the street named in your address.
  • Displayed at your driveway entrance if your house is not visible from the road or on a flag lot.

In an Emergency, Seconds Count! Clearly visible house numbers are vitally important in saving precious time when firefighters, police, or paramedics must respond to your home.

Thanks to Howard County Fire & Rescue for this content!

Content Needed

Please submit News, Pictures and Upcoming Events to the Webmaster. Just click the email link at the bottom of this page to submit your contributions. Thanks!

2010 Spring Fling tickets on sale soon. Purchase by Feb. 1st and be eligible for $500 drawing. Click for information.

Adobe Reader required (free download)

2010 Gun Calendars on sale now. Call 301-447-2728 for details. Click for rules


Find Our Firehouse

Zoom In

Zoom Out

Care to Join Us?

The Vigilant Hose Company is looking for

 help. Certainly you have some talents that you can share with your community. Join an organization that you can learn and grow and feel good about.

Why would want to join our team? Click here to find out.

Print out an application in one of the following formats.

Web based application

PDF Application

Download some cool wallpaper

Click Here




Hit Counter

Email the Webmaster