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March 19, 2018
Laurel Pizzeria Night

April 2, 2018
Clean-up nite 7:00 PM

April 2, 2018
Board Meeting - 19:30

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Contact Info
Dial 9-1-1
Laurel Fire Department
205 W. 10th Street
Laurel, DE 19956


Department History
In 1987 Laurel again hosted the DVFA for its annual Convention and Parade.

On November 24, 1986 a motion was passed to replace the 1978 Pierce mini-pumper with a 4Wheel Drive unit. The old unit was sold to the Westside Fire Company, of Bivalve, Maryland.

On February 16, 1987 the department voted to replace the 1964 ALF with a Pierce Lance 2000 GPM Engine. This would mark the first time since 1915 that an American LaFrance Engine would not be in Laurel’s station.

On May 7, 1987, Ferris Fields was voted into membership of the Fire Department, becoming the first Afro-American member. Throught the years Ferris has shown dedication to his department, still being an active member today. Ferris was later named Heroic Fireman of the Year by the State of Delaware and the Eastern Division of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

On March 14, 1988, Wendy Gschwandtner was voted into membership as Laurel's first female firefighter. She followed a long, family tradition of service to her community, as her grandfather was a long time firefighter in Pennsylvania. Wendy would go on to be active in all facets of the fire department, serve as an E.M.S. Officer, Administrative Officer and State Fire School Instructor.

In 1991 it was the decision of the officers to use the Incident Command System of running Fire Scenes. A 1988 GMC Jimmy was purchased from a Fire Department in Pennsylvania and would serve as the first Command Vehicle.

A tragic fire occurred in January of 1993 as a grandmother and her four children died in a house fire within two blocks of the fire station. A child playing with fire was determined to have started the fire.

On June 28, 1993 a motion passed to sell the tractor trailer tanker and replace the 1978 Pierce. An order was placed with Pierce that summer for a 1994 Pierce Sabre and a 1994 Lance Engine Tanker.

Laurel Fire Department has always attempted to be a leader regarding EMS issues. In 1984 Laurel was one of the first Fire Departments to support legislation of a Statewide Paramedic Program. In 1994 the Emergency Medical Service of Sussex County established an award program for those who have dedicated so much. Their service award was named after Past Chief /President Clifford F. Lee, who as a legislator was instrumental in the passage of Paramedic legislation. The first recipient of this award was Laurel’s own Jay Myers, who had served LFD tirelessly for fourteen years.

Incidents occurred throughout the 1990’s where Laurel members were recognized for the heroism. Ferris Fields, Greg Adkins and Steve Flood were all honored for their efforts protecting their fellow citizens.

The night of June 16, 1996 was a busy one, the Delaware State Fire School was conducting an Air Bag Class, Equipment was being cleaned for the Maryland State Convention Parade and plans were being made for the upcoming July 4th celebration. An auto accident was reported north of town on Rt. 13. Jack Northam was doing a repair job to Eng. #1. He walked to the tool box to put tools away before responding. Members entering the station then saw Jack in the floor. He had suffered a fatal heart attack. Jack was Past-President, Past-Chief Engineer and was Past-President of the County Firemen’s Association.

Recent projects have included replacing the heating and air conditioning system in the fire station at a cost of $130,000. In February 1999 a new Command Vehicle was purchased as a Ford Expedition was purchased from the Salisbury Police Department.

As we enter the 21st Century and our second century of existence we look back at our rich history with respect for the individuals that have brought us this far and we look forward to attempting to live up to the example they have set for us. We pray we can lead Laurel Fire Department in a manner that lives up to our motto “Service for Others”.

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