Fire and Rescue Company 5
Fire and Rescue Company 21
Princess Anne Courthouse
Fire and Volunteer Rescue Squad
Officially chartered by the Commonwealth of
Virginia State Corporation Commission, as the Princess Anne
Courthouse Fire and Rescue Squad on November 24, 1947, The
Princess Anne Courthouse Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad was
formed by 12 residents in April of 1947, when the area was still
Princess Anne County. It was formed because of the need for the
service in the area. The nearest Fire and Rescue station was at
the oceanfront in what was then the Town of Virginia Beach. The
Farmers and citizens that started forming the squad, made
several requests to the state and the National Guard which were
denied for donation of a fire engine.
Mr. Frank Kellam sponsored the station a great deal in its
early days. Mr. Kellam helped unite the community and raised
$5000.00 and The Princess Anne Courthouse Volunteer Fire and
Rescue Squad was finally able to purchase a used fire engine.
The first fire truck purchased by Courthouse was on a Ford
chassis and was built in the Hilltop area by the Cadis Camper
Company. Mr. Cadis was also a volunteer firefighter, at the
London Bridge Volunteer Fire Department.
Young Fire Equipment Company of Buffalo, New York built the
first big engine. It was the first modern engine in Princess
Anne County. In 1963, when Princess Anne County merged with the
City of Virginia Beach, the engine was given to the Davis Corner
Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad.
The first ambulance, a used Cadillac Station wagon was
purchased in 1950, did not have much of the necessary equipment
on board, so the members had to work hard to stock and equip it.
When the squad finally had an ambulance built for them, several
members went to pick it up from the factory in Dallas, Texas.
While driving it home, the back wheel came off on the
interstate. A state police officer and a wrecker had to help
them off the road.
The original fire station was a small, old barn owned by
Titus Sawyer off North Landing Road. The barn was only used to
store the fire truck; there were no sleeping or living quarters.
After a while, the company moved into a newer building in the
courthouse complex. This building had two stories. The upstairs
was used for meetings, sleeping, and living quarters. The
downstairs was used to house the apparatus. The fire station was
also used for social functions, such as dances and parties.
Directly behind the fire station was the County Jail. The
jail was only manned with one jailer during the day, and one
guard and one lieutenant at night. So the volunteers from the
fire station would go over to the jail and assist the policemen
with answering phones and basic help.
In 1963, when Princess Anne County merged with the City of
Virginia Beach, the city decided that it needed a paid fire
service. Two paid firemen were placed in each fire station. The
rescue squad remained a volunteer service along with a few
dedicated volunteer firefighters.
In 1988 The Princess Anne Courthouse Volunteer Fire and
Rescue Squad had 33 members who volunteered 3,800 hours for the
City of Virginia Beach and the 4,500 families that lived in the
primary response area.
In 1999, the squad recognized that there had been heavy
growth in the Red Mill and Strawbridge areas of the city.
Recognizing this fact The Princess Anne Courthouse Volunteer
Fire and Rescue Squad opened a rescue substation to better serve
the areas of Ocean Lakes and Red Mill.
In 2007 the squad is the second largest of the 10 all
volunteer rescue squads in Virginia Beach. We have a membership
that total 100 plus dedicated volunteers volunteering in excess
of 45,000 hours annually. The members are dedicated individuals
from all walks of life who attend many hours of training to
maintain their certification and continue to provide coverage 24
hours a day seven days a week; operating three Advanced Life
Support ambulances out of two stations and serving a primary
response area that encompasses approximately 1/3 of the city’s
land mass (100 Sq Miles) and a population that is in excess of
A Special thanks to Mr. and Mrs.
Benson for the history information.