The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. In 1949, the Board of Supervisors approved the hiring of firefighters for each of the volunteer stations.
In addition, supervisors approved the installation of a central fire-alarm system so police dispatchers “would dispatch the engines from the department or departments nearest the fire and this would eliminate a great deal of confusion,” officials said.
On July 1, 1949, the first 10 career firefighters were hired at an annual salary of $2,500. The first to be hired was Samuel Redmond, who was issued badge No. 1 and assigned to Station 1 in McLean.
Career firefighters were called “paid men” and served primarily as daytime apparatus drivers.