The new decade brought more and more changes for the fire company. With population increasing and development, the fire company was set to meet these challenges head on with proactive thinking and actions. Fortunately, for the fire company the capable leadership from previous years had set the stage for the coming decade by taking a strong position with recruiting new members and retaining its current members, aggressive equipment upgrades and the adaption of new and innovative technologies.
On January 22, 2010, Chief Bill Snyder arrived at 102 Seevue Court with six apartment units fully involved in fire. This fire would end up being the first of three multi-alarm fires in the Hickory Hills Development over the next two years.
In February 2010, Chief Bill Snyder and other personnel compiled a company-wide review of its operations for the Harford County Fire/EMS Services Study. The results would not be released until 2011. The results of the study began a process of bringing countywide operating procedures to Fire/EMS and assured that Harford County would still provide a great service in the 21st Century.
2011 also saw the fire company began operating with three paid EMS crews. Chief Bill Snyder had one of the paid crews permanently moved to the Forest Hill Station and when the Patterson Mill Station was completed they would also have a paid EMS crew there. All three stations would now have twenty four hour EMS coverage.
In March, 2011, the “Sprinkler Law” was brought to both the Town of Bel Air and Harford County. Spearheaded by Deputy Chief Scott Panowitz, President Anthony Coliano, and Chief Bill Snyder, the Town of Bel Air would now require sprinklers in all new single-family dwellings.
On February 23, 2011, Deputy Chief Panowitz was in command of two working fires just hours apart. Both fires occurred in the Fountain Green area, with one resulting in a fatality.
In May of 2011 the fire company purchased a 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe for use as a command and utility vehicle. The unit was placed in service on August 27, 2011.
On August 27 and 28, 2011 the fire company answered numerous calls for service during Hurricane Irene. Fire company units were kept busy all night and day.
In October, 2011, our new Patterson Mill Substation construction began. The long-term project had been in the works for almost eight years. President Coliano, Chief Eyre, Chief Snyder and the entire Building Committee spent numerous hours on planning and designing the structure. The Emmorton area of our district had seen a rapid rise in call volume. The project had its origins dating back to the late 1990’s and early 2000’s when the fire company had begun studying placing two stations in the outlying districts of its first due territory. Increasing population, commercial development and an increase in traffic were making it more difficult for apparatus responding from the Hickory Avenue fire station. The fire company started looking for property in both the Emmorton and Fountain Green areas of the district. On January 26, 2007, the fire company signed two twenty five year leases for properties with Harford County. One was near the county’s facilities and operations facility on Route 543 in Fountain Green and the other was on Patterson Mill Road at the intersection of Route 924, located to the south of Bel Air. This was a major step towards completion of the fire companies plans to add two stations in the Fountain Green area and the Emmorton areas. The fire company would address the Patterson Mill fire station first, with the Fountain Green fire station immediately after. A recruitment drive was immediately started in the Patterson Mill Fire station area to augment the members that already resided near this location. In 2009 and 2010 there was much discussion about this station and it’s funding, etc. Finally, in September of 2011 the decision was made, Harford County Government would build and fully fund the fire station and then sign over the deed to the fire company at its dedication. Even though the county would build the fire station, the fire company still retained the final say and approval as to the plans and drawings of the station, as much of this work had been done before the county took over the project. On December 11, 2011, the ground breaking ceremony was held at the site of the new fire station. Construction would last almost a year, with the dedication ceremony taking place on November 10, 2012. After the dedication ceremony, the fire station was immediately placed in service with an engine, medic unit and utility housed at the station.
The fire company purchased in January of 2012 an International 4300 PL Custom Titan ambulance. The ambulance would be equipped with all the modern medical equipment of the time. Ambulance 394 was delivered to Bel Air in September of 2012 and placed in service on October 25, 2012.
On May 29, 2012, the fire company responded to a two alarm fire commanded by Chief Ed Hopkins in the 2400 block of Dixie Lane. Lack of water hindered fire department efforts.
On June 3, 2012, fire company units responded to numerous calls in the Bel Air Road area where an F-1 tornado touched down. There was one building collapse in which a patient needed to be transported to the hospital.
The fire company purchased in August of 2012 an International 4300 PL Custom Titan ambulance. The ambulance would be equipped with all the modern medical equipment of the time. Ambulance 395 was delivered to Bel Air in April of 2013 and placed in service on May 7, 2013.
The fire company purchased in November of 2012 an International 4300 PL Custom Titan ambulance. The ambulance would be equipped with all the modern medical equipment of the time. Ambulance 391 was delivered to Bel Air in October of 2013 and placed in service on October 28, 2013.
In October of 2012 the fire company purchased a 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe for use as a command and utility vehicle. The unit was placed in service on November 27, 2012.
In 2013 a committee was appointed to replace two of the fire company’s pumpers. The committee spent many hours looking at demonstrators from different manufacturers, writing specifications and requesting bids. In January of 2014 the fire company voted to purchase two Pierce Enforcer pumpers. The pumpers are equipped with the following: Detroit Diesel Series 13 500 HP engines, Hale QMAX-XS 1500 GPM single stage pumps, 750 gallon booster tanks, Harrison PTO-Driven 20 KW hydraulic generators, Elkhart hydraulically operated valves, RUDD automatic snow and ice chains, a 1000 GPM pre-piped monitor, A WARN 23 volt 9000 lb portable electric winch with front, side and rear receiver points, a hose bed that contains 1200 feet of 5 inch hose, 400 feet of 3 inch hose, a 250 foot 2 ½ inch preconnect, two 200 foot 1 ¾ preconnects, one 250 foot 1 ¾ preconnect and a 100 foot 1 ¾ front bumper trash line. In addition the pumpers have double high side compartments, and a hydraulic ladder rack containing an aluminum 3 section 35 foot extension ladder, an aluminum 14 foot roof ladder and a 10 foot folding ladder. The standard complement of tools, hooks, extinguishers, smoke ejectors, hand lights and appliances were also carried. Both pumpers are also carry an AMKUS 240SS HRT System and a full complement of AMKUS hydraulic rescue tools and other rescue equipment.
On April 12, 2013, Chief Ed Hopkins commanded a two alarm fire at 108 Seevue Court. Once again, the fire was well advanced on the first unit’s arrival.
In May 2013, the BAVFC would begin to house a fifth ambulance. This unit would be placed in reserve status but allow the fire company to always have four ambulances in service in case of mechanical issues arose with any of the in service ambulances.
In December of 2013, the fire company purchased a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD 4 x 4 pickup for use as a command and utility vehicle. The unit was placed in service on February 7, 2014.
In February of 2014, the fire company purchased a 2014 Polaris Ranger 800 6 x 6 utility vehicle. The vehicle had become a necessity with the ever increasing calls for service in remote locations. The vehicle is also needed to help with events in the fire companies first due area such as the annual Fourth of July celebration where large crowds make it impossible to navigate a large piece of apparatus. The vehicle has the capability via its QTAC 85S 85 gallon fire skid and QTAC 70S RMS skid to respond to either a fire incident or an EMS incident. After training in its use, the vehicle was placed in service on June 28, 2014.
The fire company purchased in November of 2014, an International 4300 PL Custom Titan ambulance. The ambulance will be designated Ambulance 393. The ambulance would be equipped with all the modern medical equipment of the time. The fire company is still awaiting delivery of the ambulance.
In February of 2015, the fire company purchased a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe for use as a command and utility vehicle. The unit was placed in service on April 1, 2015.
At the May 2015 fire company meeting a new Pierce Enforcer pumper was approved. In 2014 the same committee that had written the specifications for the two 2015 Pierce Rescue Pumpers was asked by the officers to make some changes to the specifications and bid out a large capacity pumper. This unit was designed to be housed at the Forest Hill Station, which is located within a mile of the Forest Hill Air Park. The station also is located in a large non-hydranted area of the fire companies first due territory. In April of 2014 the committee presented the bid to the fire company. There was much discussion about the unit, and do to its size, the access it would have to some of the locations in the northern part of the fire companies first due territory. The motion to purchase the unit failed. This was the first time in the history of the fire company that a request to purchase a piece of apparatus had failed to pass. The committee was directed to research and rewrite the specifications and rebid the unit. At the May 2015 fire company meeting the committee presented the revised bids for the pumper and this time the fire company approved the purchase of a new Pierce Arrow pumper.
The pumper is equipped with the following: Detroit Diesel Series 13 500 HP engine, Hale QMAX-XS 1500 GPM single stage pumps, 1500 gallon booster tank, 150 gallon foam tank with a Pierce Husky 12 Foam System, Elkhart electrically operated valves, RUDD automatic snow and ice chains, a 1000 GPM pre-piped monitor, a hose bed that contains 1200 feet of 5 inch hose, 400 feet of 3 inch hose, a 250 foot 2 ½ inch preconnect, two 200 foot 1 ¾ preconnects, one 250 foot 1 ¾ preconnect and a 100 foot 1 ¾ front bumper trash line. In addition the pumpers have double high side compartments, and a hydraulic ladder rack containing an aluminum 3 section 35 foot extension ladder, an aluminum 14 foot roof ladder and a 10 foot folding ladder. The standard NFPA complement of tools, hooks, extinguishers, smoke ejectors, hand lights and appliances were also carried. The unit also has no generator as all the lights are 12V LED and all the portable floodlights and ventilation fans are battery powered.
As we reach of 125th year of existence, the fire company continues to experience a larger call volume, along with increased development and a growing population. The fire companies focus remains on top quality service to the citizens and the community it serves. We have the best equipment available today. We have members who perform vital and difficult tasks daily in a professional manner, yet we remain flexible enough to adapt and change with the times and modernize. We have leadership that is well trained and constantly thinking outside the box with new and innovative training methods, EMS procedures and fire ground tactics. For this we are thankful and expect to remain a viable organization that is ready and willing to serve the citizens and community for the next 125 years!