Delaware Volunteer Firemen's Association

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The Delaware Volunteer Firemen's Association is an organization established to assist the volunteer fire companies of the state of Delaware.


The Delaware Volunteer Fireman's Association can be traced to a meeting in January 1921. Several firemen from throughout the state of Delaware met in Milford to establish a state fireman's association. The Carlisle Fire Company of Milford was authorized to begin the process to form the association. Notices were to be sent to all volunteer fire companies throughout the state, asking them to send two delegates to a meeting at Milford on February 24, 1921, although some newer companies were left out, such as the newly formed Ellendale Vol. Fire Company, the next company south of Milford, which had been formed in April 1920.

The state of Delaware releases an audit each year on the costs and savings of the volunteer fire departments in the state. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012 it was estimated that the volunteer fire departments in the state saved the taxpayers more than $289,000,000.[1]

Department City Delegate 1 Delegate 2
Robbins Hose Company Dover, Delaware Alonzo W. Clifton Sam H. Carson
Georgetown Fire Company Georgetown, Delaware Joseph G. Green Thomas B. Pepper
Harrington Fire Company Harrington, Delaware James L. Harmistead Warren T. Moore
Laurel Fire Department Laurel, Delaware M. T. Calloway W. T. Bennett
Lewes Fire Company Lewes, Delaware F. W. Williams T. R. Duffel
Volunteer Hose Company Middletown, Delaware W. R. Gary Edward S. Jones
Milton Fire Company Milton, Delaware Samuel Fithian R. B. Banning
Citizens Hose Company Smyrna, Delaware Harry Collins John D. Morris
Carlisle Fire Company Milford, Delaware James P. Pearce R. E. Pettyjohn

The first resolution was adopted at the first meeting:

"Resolved, that we, the delegates of the Volunteer Fire Companies in the State of Delaware, in convention assembled in order to form a more perfect organization, establish harmony, insure prosperity and success, obtain and compile statistics concerning the practical working of various apparatus, cultivate fraternal fellowship among the companies and promote the best interest of the Volunteer Firemen of Delaware, do hereby form an organization to be known as the Delaware State Volunteer Firemen's Association."

With the delegates from the nine companies present, the officers were elected and a set of by-laws was adopted.

The first regular convention was held on July 1, 1921, at the Laurel Fire Department, with thirteen companies being represented. The association has continued to hold conventions regularly each year with the exception of 1942–1944, when gatherings were restricted by World War II to executive meetings. Today, all 60 volunteer fire companies in the state are members of the Delaware Volunteer Firemen's Association. The Wilmington Fire Department, Delaware's only paid municipal fire department, is an associate member.[2]

On January 20, 2009, the Delaware Volunteer Firemen's Association marched in the inauguration parade for President Barack Obama as a guest of Vice-President Joseph Biden of Delaware who is an honorary member of the D.V.F.A. Five members from all 60 departments were invited to march in the parade, led by the marching band of the Citizen's Hose Company of Smyrna.


The president of the Delaware Volunteer Firemen's Association is elected to a 1-year term, beginning in September at a presentation at the annual conference. The presidency is on a rotating basis between Delaware's three counties, Sussex, Kent, and New Castle, with the representatives from the other two counties being the first and second vice-president based on when they will become president in the rotation. There was no president in 1942 and 1943 due to World War 2.[3]

Year(s) Fire Department Firefighter
1921 - 1923 Carlisle Charles E. Varney
1924 & 1925 Volunteer Hose Edward S. Jones
1926 Lewes G. Clifton Maull
1927 Citizen's Hose Harry Collins
1928 Delmar John E. McClaine Jr.
1929 Cranston Heights Robert Croes
1930 Robbin's Hose Warren W. Pettyjohn
1931 Laurel Elbert C. Bailey
1932 Five Points John N. Jordin
1933 Camden-Wyoming J. Elmer Haddaway
1934 Lewes Samuel C. Pierce
1935 Mill Creek Walter Hubert
1936 Cheswold Willard D. Boyce
1937 Seaford Reuben A. Steward
1938 Talleyville Howard Sheldon
1939 Clayton Lewis A. Walker
1940 Bridgeville Leroy B. Truitt
1941 Christiana John W. Moore
1944 Harrington Frank C. O'Neal
1945 Lewes Herald Brittingham
1946 & 1947 Holloway Terrace Fred Brown
1948 Delmar E. Bloxem Dougherty
1949 Mill Creek Layton C. Baynard
1950 Clayton Fred E. Burke
1951 Rehoboth Beach Edgar S. Stayer
1952 Talleyville George W. Duncan
1953 Cheswold John W. Bamberger
1954 Ellendale Curtis Ennis
1955 Elsmere Charles Jones
1956 Camden-Wyoming Charles Jester
1957 Laurel Granville T. White
Year(s) Fire Department Firefighter
1958 Wilmington Manor C. Wesley Robinson
1959 Harrington Paul Neeman
1960 Selbyville James E. Wilgus
1961 Holloway Terrace John V. Ryan Jr.
1962 Frederica Zora B. Tatman
1963 Seaford William J. Hines
1964 Townsend Clarence Schwatka
1965 Citizen's Hose E. Reynolds Bradley
1966 Lewes William T. Lowe
1967 Cranston Heights Emmanuel J. Harkins
1968 Felton Roland Neeman
1969 Greenwood Arthur L. Jones
1970 Talleyville Thomas E. Marshall
1971 Cheswold Elbert C. Golder Sr.
1972 Laurel David B. Joseph
1973 Odessa Arthur I. Guessford
1974 Felton William J. Paskey Jr.
1975 Greenwood Ralph T. Hynson
1976 Minquas John E. Cunningham Jr.
1977 Hartly Morris W. King
1978 Lewes E. James Monihan Jr.
1979 Christiana Raymond H. McCall
1980 Citizen's Hose Richard E. Ennis
1981 Frankford John Bare
1982 Elsmere William G. Walton Sr.
1982 - 1983 Clayton William R. Carrow
1983 - 1984 Rehoboth Beach Richard C. Mitchell
1984 - 1985 Mill Creek Lawrence E. Mergenthaler
1985 - 1986 South Bowers Thomas V. Baker Sr.
1986 - 1987 Laurel Clifford F. Lee
Year(s) Fire Department Firefighter
1987 - 1988 Aetna Hose, Hook, & Ladder Robert Sweetman
1988 - 1989 Hartly Frank King
1989 - 1990 Frankford Walton A. Johnson Jr.
1990 - 1991 Holloway Terrace Ed Barlow
1991 - 1992 Magnolia George A. Diamond
1992 - 1993 Laurel Elmer Steele
1993 - 1994 Talleyville Harry Warner
1994 - 1995 Hartly J. Allen Metheny Sr.
1995 - 1996 Milton Lynn Rogers
1996 - 1997 Minquadale Joseph Hojnicki Sr.
1997 - 1998 Magnolia Donald Knight
1998 - 1999 Seaford Mike Vincent
1999 - 2000 Aetna Hose, Hook, & Ladder Steven Austin
2000 - 2001 Clayton James L. Cubbage Jr.
2001 - 2002 Milton Dale Callaway
2002 - 2003 Delaware City Jasper H. Lakey
2003 - 2004 Carlisle Marvin Sharp
2004 - 2005 Selbyville Ray Stevens
2005 - 2006 Odessa Ken Pyle
2006 - 2007 Citizen's Hose Alan Robinson
2007 - 2008 Seaford Ron Marvel
2008 - 2009 Elsmere Warren Jones
2009 - 2010 Clayton Kevin Wilson
2010 - 2011 Memorial William Tobin
2011 - 2012 Brandywine Hundred Charles W. Frampton, Jr.
2012 - 2013 Dover Charles Boyer
2013 - 2014 Seaford Richard Toulson
2014 - 2015 Hockessin Anthony Guzzo
2015 - 2016 Farmington Joseph Zeroles
2016 - 2017 Ellendale Ted Walius

Fireman of the Year Award[4][edit]

Year Fire Department Firefighter
1968 Wilmington Manor George I. Cochran Jr.
1971 Five Points Donald J. Zulinksi
1971 Five Points John J. Jones
1974 Cheswold James R. Roy Sr.
1976 Hartly Newlin E. Wood Sr.
1977 Harrington Paul Neeman
1978 Frederica Zora A. Tatman
1981 Talleyville Thomas E. Marshall
1981 Citizens Hose Bruce C. Ennis
1982 Frankford LeRoy V. Ryan Sr.
1983 Holloway Terrace John V. Ryan Jr.
1984 Rehoboth Beach Thomas S. Calhoun
1985 Citizens Hose Richard E. Ennis
1986 Hartly Morris W. King
1987 Gumboro Milton J. Niblett
1988 Millville William J. Quillen
1989 Mill Creek Lawrence E. Mergenthaler
1990 Millsboro J. Ralph Brittingham
1991 Lewes G. Edward Wyatt
1992 Clayton William R. Carrow
Year Fire Department Firefighter
1993 Townsend Clarence Schwatka
1994 Minquadale Joseph Hojnicki Sr.
1995 Delaware City Charles Neel
1995 Frankford Walton A. Johnson Sr.
1996 Ellendale Elmer Ennis
1997 Clayton Kevin L. Wilson
1997 Marydel Albert V. Lane Jr.
1998 Hartly J. Allen Metheny Sr.
1999 Dover Carleton E. Carey Sr.
2000 Felton Roland Neeman
2001 Houston Carroll B. Jester
2002 Seaford Norman L. Tate
2003 Aetna Hose, Hook, & Ladder Charles Wollaston
2003 Christiana Raymond H. McCall
2004 Felton William J. Paskey Jr.
2005 Millsboro Norman L. Betts
2006 Clayton J. Wallace Hudson
2007 Bethany Beach Hal Barber