Cape Charles Volunteer Fire Company
Welcome to the website of the Cape Charles Volunteer Fire Company.
We are located on Virginia's Eastern Shore, serving the Town of Cape Charles and Lower Northampton County.
We are 100% Volunteer.
The Cape Charles VFC began in 1921.
The Cape Charles Volunteer Fire Company is believed to be the oldest organized fire company on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The present company was incorporated in 1921, however; official records of organized fire protection in the town of Cape Charles dates to February 7, 1889. The town is located in southwestern Northampton County and is situated along the beautiful Chesapeake Bay.
A large fire destroyed eight buildings on Mason Avenue in Cape Charles on March 6, 1924. This disastrous fire prompted the town to purchase it's first motorized piece of apparatus, to increase firefighting capabilities. On August 14, 1924, a 1924 American LaFrance equipped with a 750 gallon per minute pump was delivered, at a cost of $12,000. This antique piece is still owned by the company today.
During September 1924, the fire company moved into a "new" firehouse, which was located on the east side of Peach Street, between Mason and Randolph Avenues. Previously, the building had been used for storage by the Fitzhugh Auto Company. In 1924, a Ladies Auxiliary to the fire company was formed with 14 members. During 1925, the fire company installed a Sterling fire alarm system to serve the town. This system operated three alarm boxes, which were placed on Peach Street in the business district, at the telephone office, and at the main office of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. The telephone office and railroad office were both open 24 hours a day.
The fire company operated a firemen's carnival beginning in the early 1930's. It served two purposes: it was a way to celebrate the 4th of July and it raised money for the company. Also during the 30's on November 22, 1935 the Cape Charles Drum and Bugle Corps was organized with 29 original members and the band was a part of the fire company. The band is no longer in existence, and the date of disbanding is unknown.
In 1939, the fire company hosted the 53rd Annual Virginia State Firemen's Convention from August 8th through August 11th in Cape Charles. To increase the protection for the town and the surrounding areas, in 1944, a used 1938 Ford panel truck was donated to be used as an ambulance by the local Lion's Club. The Rescue Service operated in conjunction with the fire company until 1962, when it became a separate entity. Cape Charles Rescue (Station 19) is now located a few miles away in Bayview, just northeast of Cape Charles.
The present fire station is located on Mason Avenue in Cape Charles, and was constructed in two separate phases spanning over several years. The original west (left) portion of the building which serves as the Cape Charles Municipal Building, was officially opened on April 27, 1931. The fire company leases the two (2) small engine bays on the first floor of this building from the town to house the utility vehicle, and it is used for storage purposes. The town's Police Department is located behind the engine bays and the Town Office operates from the second floor. In October 1958, the fire company added a 112 ft x 67 ft addition to the existing building. This larger portion houses the fire suppression units and also includes a kitchen, restrooms, and various storage areas. In the last few years a small office/communications room was constructed within the engine bay area.
Currently, the Cape Charles V.F.C. operates a total of seven (6) pieces of apparatus, including two (2) Engines, one 95' Aerial truck, one (1) Tankers, one Rescue and a utility vehicle. Unless requested, they do not respond to EMS calls, as aforementioned ambulance coverage is provided by the Cape Charles Rescue Service. In addition to serving the town of Cape Charles and the sprawling Bay Creek planned residential community, members also provide fire protection to all or portions of Arlington, Bayview, Capeville, Cheapside, Kiptopeke, Seaview, Townsend, and several outlying rural areas in lower Northampton County. A vast majority of the company's southernmost fire district is a joint-district with the Cheriton Volunteer Fire Company -Station 14, in which both stations are dual alerted during a fire response.
The dedicated volunteers of Station 15 responded to 234 fire incidents during 2010. Cape Charles' neighboring mutual-aid departments are Station 14 - Cheriton and Station 19 - Cape Charles Rescue (EMS) to the east, and Station 17 - Eastville to the north.