DVFA History

In January 1921, a few firemen throughout the State of Delaware met in Milford for the purpose of discussing ways and means of organizing a State Association. At this meeting the Carlisle Fire Company of Milford was authorized to take the necessary steps to form a State Association. Notices were sent to all Volunteer Fire Companies throughout the State, asking them to send two delegates to a meeting at Milford, Delaware on February 24, 1921.

The following companies sent the following delegates:
Robbins Hose Company
  • Alonzo W. Clifton
  • Sam H. Carson
Georgetown Fire Company
  • Joseph G. Green
  • Thomas B. Pepper
Harrington Fire Company
  • James L. Harmisted
  • Warren T. Moore
Laurel Fire Department
  • M. T. Calloway
  • W. T. Bennett
Lewes Fire Company
  • F. W. Williams
  • T. R. Duffel
Volunteer Hose Company
  • W. R. Gary
  • Edward S. Jones
Milton Fire Company
  • Samuel Fithian
  • R. B. Banning
Citizen's Hose Company
  • Harry Collins
  • John D. Morris
Carlisle Fire Company
  • James P. Pearce
  • R. E. Pettyjohn
  • Charles E. Varney
  • C. B. Holzmuller

Mr. Charles E. Varney of Carlisle Fire Company was made temporary Chairman and called the meeting to order. The following resolution was adopted:

"Resolved, that we, the delegates of the Volunteer Fire Companies in the State of Delaware, in convention assembled in order to form a more perfect organization, establish harmony, insure prosperity and success, obtain and compile statistics concerning the practical working of various apparatus, cultivate fraternal fellowship among the companies and promote the best interest of the Volunteer Firemen of Delaware, do hereby form an organization to be known as the Delaware State Volunteer Firemen's Association."

With the delegates from the nine companies present, Officers were elected and by-laws adopted.

The first regular convention was held July 1, 1921, as the guest of the Laurel Fire Department, with thirteen companies being represented. The Association has continued to hold conventions regularly each year with the exception of years 1942, 1943 & 1944 when gatherings were restricted by the war to executive meetings. Today, all 60 Volunteer Fire Companies in the State and 1 Associate Organization are members of the Delaware Volunteer Firemen's Association.

On December 30, 1930, the Mutual Relief Association was organized and incorporated as a part of the State Firemen's Association with a membership of 18 companies. This organization has grown to the present strength of 58 fire companies, and it is hoped that soon all the companies will be enrolled in the Mutual Relief Association. On January 20, 1974, the Mutual Relief Association severed all ties with the Delaware Volunteer Firemen's Association. A new and separate corporation was formed and is now known as "Delaware Volunteer Firemen's & Ladies Auxiliary Mutual Relief Association, Inc."

The Volunteer Firefighters of the State can feel with great satisfaction that they have made the resolution, which was adopted at the first meeting, a true reality.

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