The Vigilant Hose Company, located in the shadow of the National Fire Academy and National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, MD, has been an all-volunteer organization for 125 years. With over 100 volunteers, including an active Fire Corps team, Vigilant has a proud history of volunteerism with strong ties with the community.

As an exclusively volunteer department, Vigilant relies on support from the community and its Fire Corps volunteers. Thanks to the massive fundraising efforts led by Fire Corps team members and other volunteers, Vigilant was able to complete a $1.7 million renovation to the fire house. The right wing of the building is now equipped with exercise equipment, laundry machines, two freezers, a storage area, administrative offices, a lounge and kitchenette, a bunk area, showers, and lockers. Projects like this are made possible by volunteers planning and executing weekly fundraising efforts. In addition to fundraising, Fire Corps volunteers assist Vigilant by completing administrative functions, web site development, and incident report/data management.

Recently, Vigilant Fire Corps volunteers assisted in providing content for a DVD celebrating the theme of volunteerism and service. The DVD honors the 125 year history of the Company and the volunteers who have spent countless hours serving their community. A portion of the sales will be donated back to the Vigilant Hose Company. To learn more about the DVD and to view a trailer, visit

At a ceremony celebrating Vigilant’s 125th anniversary in October, U.S. Fire Administrator Kelvin Cochran spoke highly of the Company’s achievements, calling it “one of the greatest, if not the greatest,” volunteer departments in the nation. Vigilant’s success over the years truly demonstrates how volunteers within the community can strengthen and enhance their local fire department. To learn more about the Vigilant Hose Company and their Fire Corps volunteers, visit

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