The CPCF Chair’s Award was established to celebrate an individual, business, or organization that exemplifies service to the community. The residing CPCF Board Chair determines the recipient and presents this non-monetary award at the annual Awards Gala.
This year, Board Chair Eric Grims has selected the College Park Volunteer Fire Department (CPVFD) as the recipient of this year’s award. CPVFD has served College Park for over 90 years, and today responds to around 3800 calls annually with its two engines, foam unit, and several ambulances. This summer they added a custom designed ladder truck to their fleet, and was honored with a Best Appearing Arial trophy at the Maryland State Firemen’s Association Convention Parade in Ocean City. In 1937, together with the University of Maryland, the Department took what had been an annual short course for fireman, and created the Fire Service Extension, which would grow to become the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, which today has more than 50 full time and 400 hundred part time faculty and serves as the state’s fire and emergency service training agency.
Part of the mission of Company 12 is to develop future leaders in the fire protection and emergency management community worldwide. It is this dedication to training and exemplary service that makes the College Park Volunteer Fire Department stand out not just in our community but around the country. CPVFD carries a national reputation as a leader in the fire and emergency service field. Alumni of this station serve all over the country as far away as the New South Wales Rural Fire Service in Australia. Members have gone on to serve as in the State Fire Marshall’s Office, the Secret Service, ATF, and in numerous police departments. Alumni member service extends to organizations like the National Fire Protection Association, OSHA, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the US State Department. Members take their experience and training out into the world where they continue to enhance the reputation of the CPVFD and all of College Park.
Moreover, Member “volunteer” work goes well beyond nights spent on duty in the station house. They take time to teach CPR in the community, to support back to school events, host a community golf event, take on the UMPD in a basketball game to help raise funds for Terp Thon, and deliver Santa to the College Park Community Center for the annual Breakfast with Santa event.