History of the Bakerton Fire Department

The Bakerton Fire Department, is located in Jefferson County which is the eastern-most county of the panhandle of West Virginia, about halfway between Harper's Ferry and Shepherdstown in the unincorporated town of Bakerton.

The Bakerton Fire Department was formed after a series of fires in the local area. The most notable fire was in December of 2001 at a furniture store in Kearneysville. Lawrence Crouse's Furniture Store was totally destroyed.   This fire prompted the need for an additional fire department in the county.  

Michael Pond, a member of the Shepherdstown Fire Department was inspired to build a stronger defense against fire and began to tackle the drawn-out process of forming his own volunteer fire department.  Hence, the Bakerton Fire Department was born.

Mr. Pond took his idea for the Bakerton Fire Department before the Jefferson County Fire & Rescue Association and the fire chief's of the already established fire departments of Jefferson County.  State level approval was obtained for issues regarding insurance and inspections of equipment.  After all regulatory work was completed, the Bakerton Fire Department became the 449th fire department in the state of West Virginia.

Initial funding for the establishment of the Bakerton Fire Department came from the filling of swimming pools and fire apparatus was donated or purchased from across the country.

The department started with twenty (20) volunteer members that started answering calls from a building on Uvilla Road in August of 2006 and has grown over the past few years.  Today the department responds from a five (5) bay station that was built in 2008 located at 891 Carter Avenue in downtown Bakerton.

The department operations is under the command of Fire Chief Josh Smith and covers a wide response area as well as the shorelines and waterways of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.

The Administrative side is under the direction of President Tracy Smith who is supported by several members who assist with administrative and fundraising duties.

The current department fleet consists of the following vehicles: 1-Engine, 1-Engine/ Tanker, an Ambulance, a Duty Officer/ Command vehicle, a Service vehicle (former Duty7) and a utility truck equipped with water rescue gear.  

Bakerton volunteers handle all water related emergencies within Jefferson County in addition to the usual fire and EMS responses.  

The department initiated a Swift Water Rescue Team in 2014 and operates a Zodiac F470 inflatable, an inflatable raft (on loan from River Riders of Harper's Ferry) and an AlumaPro (Alumaski) Rescue Water craft with a Wahoo Life Sled that are kept trailered and ready for response.

The Bakerton Fire Department is one of the seven volunteer departments in Jefferson County and as a volunteer department we receive some funding from the West Virginia State Treasurer's Office every quarter. We also receive some funding from the county government.  

All other funding is raised by holding events throughout the year all in which helps pay for the cost of firefighting equipment, fuel, insurance, worker's compensation insurance, firefighter protective clothing, breathing apparatus, and repairs and maintenance on the equipment.

We come from all kinds of different backgrounds and training. Our administrative members work very hard to keep the day to day operations running smoothly and our responders train very hard to be ready for whatever emergency may arise.

As a volunteer department we are always accepting new members to help better the department and the community we serve.

Please feel free to stop by and meet your local volunteers at any time or to learn more about the Bakerton Fire Department.

Thank you for your support,

Bakerton Fire Department Membership