Over 50 years ago, in 1957, the Arcola community - at that time a farming community - and the Lion's Club formed the Arcola-Pleasant Valley Volunteer Fire Department. The original station, located at 24300 Gum Spring Rd, was constructed using donations of land, building supplies, materials, and labor. The first piece of firefighting equipment - a 1250-gallon tanker truck - was purchased for $75 through the Civil Defense.
During the 1950s, a Junior Firemen Association was established for boys aged 15 to 18. Some of these first Junior Members went on to become career firefighters in urban locations. The Loudoun County Firemen's Association was organized in a meeting held here at the Arcola-Pleasant Valley VFD firehouse; this Association was later recognized as the Loudoun County Fire & Rescue Commission that is in place today. Company 9 leadership suggested centralized communication in order to obtain better response times and area coverage; this was begun during these years.
The first ambulance was purchased and placed in service during the 1960s. Likewise, the first set of department bylaws were written to provide a framework for the company. The Ladies' Auxiliary was started to assist the fire department with fundraising and support services; the Auxiliary was replaced by regular Associate members during the 80's, and eventually morphed into what today is known as the Mobile Administrative Rehab & Support Services. The first parade and carnival was held in the 1960s. A Dodge Powerwagon brush truck was purchased; this truck is still in our possession today and is being restored to create an historical parade piece.
During the 1970s the first Loudoun County Fire Marshall was hired. The Arcola firehouse was used to shelter and feed 200 local residents when hurricane Agnes came through. The village of Aldie was virtually underwater during this event. The company's bylaws were amended to allow women to become members of the company; today we have a large number of female members, both operational and administrative.
During the 1980s a 24-foot addition to the existing station was constructed. The first Loudoun County career firefighter was hired and assigned to Station 9. The company was issued an Advanced Life Support license by the Office of Emergency Medical Services in Virginia. The company began recruitment programs to help with future growth.
Additional career staff, including a medic, were assigned to the station for daytime coverage during the 1990s. Plans for remodeling and upgrading the station were implemented. Company 9 responds to the first emergency call in the new South Riding subdivision. In 1999 the further expansion of two additional vehicle bays to house the engine company was completed and a new engine was purchased.
In 2000, the new engine (Wagon 9-1) was placed in service. A new ambulance was purchased to serve the continually growing population. A new rapid response vehicle (SERV-9) was added to our vehicle inventory to allow a faster response time to the South Riding community.
Today we have a total of three ambulances, two fully functional engines, and a recently purchased a 3000-gallon tanker for heavy apparatus. We also have a number of ancillary vehicles that allow us to provide support to front-line operations in a variety of ways, amongst which are a brush truck and a jeep, three EMS chase vehicles, a gator, and a dedicated Support Services truck to provide both support to ongoing operations as well as recruitment and retention services. View images of our apparatus here.
In 2014, we saw the closing of our original station on Gum Spring Rd., and moved in to a brand-new 22,000 square foot county-built facility on Belmont Ridge Rd in Brambleton (lower image above). The new building houses both Company 9 and the Loudoun County Fire Marshall's Office.
Over the years, Arcola VFD has changed in many ways, but our mission, values and standards have always remained the same. Click here to view our mission, vision and core values.