Alexandria Fire Department Celebrates its 150th Anniversary 1866-2016

Page updated on Oct 26, 2016 at 5:54 PM
AFD 150 Year Anniversary Banner image

Alexandrians are certainly aware of the rich history of this great city. Incorporated in 1779, it was touted as one of the busiest sea ports and enjoyed great development and prosperity, and housed many wealthy and powerful elite citizens. During the late 18th Century, many of these citizens banded together to form volunteer fire companies to protect their city and investments. However, by the end of the Civil War, many of these volunteer companies had been decimated. In 1866, an act passed by the City Council united these fire companies to form the Alexandria Fire Department.

The year 2016 marks the 150th anniversary of the Alexandria Fire Department.  From water buckets and horse drawn steamer engines to state-of-the art fire stations, equipment, apparatus, and technology, the Fire Department has enjoyed a storied history. 

Throughout the year, the Fire Department will be holding events to highlight and celebrate its past, present and future. As part of the celebration, AFD will be proudly displaying its 1863 Amoskeag Steam Engine (“The Champion”) and other historical and current firefighting tools and equipment. 

During this anniversary year and every year, with gratitude we recognize our past, acknowledge the great people who have served before us and those who will come after, and honor their dedication to protecting the lives and property of the people of Alexandria.  

Join the celebration! 

150th Anniversary T-Shirts, Commemorative Items Available

Looking for a way to show your Alexandria Fire Department pride and celebrate the 150th Anniversary? Pick up one of our t-shirts for $20! The proceeds go to the Friendship Firehouse (to maintain and restore AFD historical items) and the Local 2141 Helping Hands Fund. T-Shirts are available in sizes adult small - XXL. Also available for purchase are patches ($5), lapel pins ($8), and challenge coins ($10).

All items are available for purchase at Station 204, 900 Second Street, 2nd floor. Items are available for purchase on site only (no deliveries)  from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

AFD 150 Patch AFD T-shirt Challenge Coins Fire Pin

Upcoming 150th Anniversary Events

  • Stay Tuned for Upcoming Events! 


150th Anniversary Black Tie Gala

Friday, October 7

Embassy Suites Hotel

1900 Diagonal Road

6 p.m.

The public is cordially invited to attend the Alexandria Fire Department’s 150th Anniversary Gala on October 7. The gala will take place at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 1900 Diagonal Rd. Alexandria, Virginia starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person.  Please make checks payable to Firehouse Foundation, P.O. Box 22505, Alexandria VA, 22304. Payment is also accepted via Paypal to The 150th Anniversary Gala is the premiere event of the Fire Department’s sesquicentennial year celebration.

Community Give Back Night
Wednesday, July 20
Port City Brewing Company
3950 Wheeler Ave.
4-9 p.m.

On July 20, the Friendship Fire Company will co-host, along with the Port City Brewing Company, Community Give Back Night. Tasty barbeque from Rocklands will be available for purchase as you enjoy Port City’s on-site brewery beers. Also included in the evening's festivities will be a silent auction, raffle and fire photo opp.  

Ten percent of the night’s receipts will go to the Friendship Fire Company's Conservation Fund to help restore the two hand-drawn pieces of fire apparatus at the Friendship Firehouse Museum.   Everyone who attends will receive an official Friendship Firehouse hat and become an honorary member of the "George Washington Fire Company" for the day.  Donations will be accepted for the Friendship Conservation Fund, and those contributing will receive additional recognition. 

Friendship Firehouse Festival
Saturday, August 6
Friendship Firehouse
107 S. Alfred St.
9 a.m.

Held at the historic Friendship Firehouse, the festival celebrates the special role firefighters have played throughout history, especially those of Friendship. The event will feature a collection of antique fire equipment and, courtesy of the Alexandria Fire Department, a display of modern fire trucks and apparatus. The Alexandria Red Cross and the Community Emergency Response Team will also be on hand. Other attractions include craft booths, food vendors and free birthday cake which will be served at 11 a.m.  In honor of the Alexandria Fire Department's 150th Anniversary, there will be opportunities for attendees to compete against Alexandria’s bravest and win prizes (along with some serious bragging rights).