United Communities Volunteer Fire Department Station 9 – Queen Anne’s County Romancoke, Maryland
The United Communities Volunteer Fire Department (UCVFD) was chartered in 1972 after a group of residents from the lower region of Kent Island decided to increase the level of fire protection to their respective communities. The original membership actually mortgaged their homes to pull together the necessary finances to start the fire department. Donald Graham was the company’s first President and Melvin Hagner, Sr. served as first Chief. The original station was a two-bay facility rendered from the existing community association meeting hall.
In October 1978, the department dedicated its first bonafide firehouse which was located immediately next to the existing makeshift facility. Prior to acquiring a Class and Pumper, the department operated a World War II-era Willies Jeep as its first response unit. By the time their charter was officially granted, the department was operating a used Hahn pumper it had acquired from the Anne Arundel County Fire Department. The department’s first new piece of fire apparatus was a 1982 GMC 1000gpm pumper dedicated in memory of Melvin and Hagner, Sr. the first chief. It was replaced by a new 1000gmp Pierce Arrow Pumper in 1987. The UCVFD provided all-hazards protection to the southern portion of Kent Island, which is located in the Upper Chesapeake Bay, 4 miles directly across from the state capital of Annapolis.
At one time, Kent Island was a sleepy rural community with summer homes for vacationing Washingtonians, who occupied cottages along the shore. With Washington, DC and Baltimore each less than 40 miles away and Annapolis only 8 miles across the Bay Bridge, there has been a rapid increase in population on Kent Island. Over the past ten years the population of the island has increased by 216%, and now nearly half of the county’s total population lives there.
In 2000 a building committee with Bob Carter, as Chairman along with Dave Olds and Bob Pryor began the process to renovate and build an addition on the station that would be completed in 2003 and costing around $500,000. The addition added two new bays, an EMS office, workshop, and storage area on the first floor with a day room/meeting room and bunk rooms on the second floor. The building is equipped with fire/smoke alarms and engine room exhaust system.
The UCVFD is a 100% volunteer service department with a membership near 75 individuals, including auxiliary and administrative members of which 45 respond to emergency calls for service. The department has an active cadet program with 11 youngsters between the ages of 10 and 16. UCVFD’s first due response area encompasses in excess of 22.5 square miles, nearly 2,400 homes, and surrounded by water on three sides. UCVFD responded to nearly 500 calls for service in 2011 with no public water supply anywhere in its response area.
The mission of the United Communities Volunteer Fire Department is to meet the needs of the community and the public they serve. To protect the citizens with the highest quality of service delivery and prepare diligently to be able to respond to any request for assistance. The pledge to the citizens they serve is to be there when they need them most- 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.