The Howard County Fire Department has a long and illustrious history, beginning with the appointment of Benjamin Mellor as the first fire chief in 1934. In the early days, fire departments from Howard, Carroll and Baltimore Counties provided mutual aid, with companies from as far away as Pennsylvania and Virginia responding to calls. This marked the start of a new era for the department, which was renamed the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services and all employees in the volunteer departments were transferred to the Howard County Classification Service as public safety employees. The only major airline disaster in Howard County occurred in the Third District on November 23, 1962. This event was followed by the purchase of a dining unit called Canteen 1 by the Howard County Volunteer Fire Association in 1991. On August 28, 1992, an F1 tornado touched down in West Friendship, starting on Walt Ann Drive and destroying a house before continuing on to Route 32 and damaging more than 1000 trees. It eventually ended up at the Howard County Route 144 Fairgrounds where it caused damage to several trailers. In addition to these events, six members of the Ladies' Auxiliary were among the first women in Howard County to travel as ambulance hostesses. These firefighters were also transferred to the Howard County Classification Service as public safety employees. Today, the Howard County Fire Department continues to serve its community with dedication and commitment.
The department is proud of its long history of providing quality fire and rescue services to its citizens.