Department of Fire and Rescue Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

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Provided by Prince William County Department of Fire & Rescue

DFR's 50th Anniversary Logo

Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue will celebrate its 50th Anniversary this year. During the early 1960s, the fire and rescue service was a volunteer organization. As the community grew, it was understandable that to protect and meet the needs of the community, a more solid foundation was needed. The Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue was created in 1966 hiring Selby Jacobs as its first fire and rescue chief in addition to hiring its first Fire Marshal and career firefighter.

Over time, the department has made great strides in becoming one of the top fire and rescue services nationwide due to its many accomplishments. In 1967, the department introduced the 911 System; the first on the East Coast and one of the first in the U.S. In 1994, the department hired Mary Beth Michos as the first female fire chief when historically firefighting consisted predominately of men. Since then the department has grown exponentially consisting of various specialty units and programs to include Swift Water and River Boat Rescue, Technical Rescue for structural collapse, trench and rope, Hazardous Materials, Office of Emergency Management, Community Safety and the Fire Marshal’s Office, to mention a few. These programs were created in an effort to respond to a wide variety of low and high risk emergency situations to better safeguard the community and its residents. “These are just a few of the many challenging and demanding milestones significant to the development of the department and the community we serve,” states Fire and Rescue Chief Kevin McGee.

Today, we are a combined fire and rescue service consisting of approximately 500 career and over 1,000 volunteer members under the guidance of Chief McGee and the Fire and Rescue Association. Our strong alliance enables us to provide additional support in protecting the residential and business communities on a 24-hour basis. As an elite department, we are committed to continuous quality improvement of a complete range of fire, EMS and emergency management services.

To kick off this year’s celebration, the department designed a unique logo in honor of this historical event. Throughout the year, various events will take place in honor of the 50th Anniversary. Information will be forthcoming on the department’s Facebook page at


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