Harry E. Hopkins Jr, known as Buddy or Hoppy to his friends and colleagues, comes from a family of Harford County volunteer firefighters that includes his children, nieces, nephews, and brothers-in-law. He joined the volunteer fire service in 1951. After initially joining Jarrettsville VFC he then moved to Bel Air and became a member of the Bel Air VFC in January 1954.
Throughout his 20 years of service he held many offices and sat on several committees. In 1955 he held the rank of Captain. He served as Lieutenant in 1957 and 1958. From 1959-1961 he served as Ambulance Captain which in today’s emergency services is called Emergency Medical Services Chief.
He returned to the position of Fire Captain in 1962. In 1964 he was elected to the Board of Directors serving as Vice-President until his death in 1974. In addition to serving as an officer he served on many firehouse committees. Most notably were the 1957 Ambulance Committee, he was the liaison and mentor to a local Boy Scout Explorer Troop, the 1972-73 Engine Committee to purchase Engine 313 and managing “the boys fund” which was a recreation fund supplemented by vending machines and used to purchase recreational, leisure, and sports equipment for members to use while at the station.
Harry was skilled in firefighting and pump operations having taken the Basic and Advanced Firemanship Courses through the University of Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute. From 1954-1961 he was one of the top two responders and from 1959-1973 he was one of the Top 15 (then) current Responders. Harry was very active in the emergency medical services community actively (and frequently) riding the ambulance treating and transporting patients to local hospitals.
He was a skilled provider and was a certified American Red Cross Basic and Advanced First Aid teaching classes to firefighters and citizens. Additionally, he completed numerous Maryland Fire and Rescue Courses as well as in-house trainings.
Harry was a dedicated volunteer firefighter who believed wholeheartedly in serving his community. His passion for the volunteer fire service was superseded only by his love for family and friends. At the time of his death Harry was working in the station when he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest. He was with several other volunteers who immediately began CPR and transported him to Harford Memorial Hospital where he died. He is survived by his wife, Martha E. Hopkins, and two sons, Philip D. Hopkins, and Past BAVFC Fire Chief and President Edward Hopkins, III.