On Sunday, December 6, 2020, the family of the late James E. “Jef” Fitzgerald, Sr., gathered at the Vigilant Hose Company’s (VHC) emergency services stationhouse at 25 West Main Street in Emmitsburg to dedicate the apparatus bay in his memory. Jef, a much-respected and well-known area resident, was instrumental in overseeing all aspects of the significantly expanded and enhanced VHC facility back in the decade of the 1990s. The activity included collateral efforts to plan for and acquire the community’s first aerial ladder truck, Tower 6.

Portions of the re-constructed and enhanced complex included dealing with sections dating back over 200 years.

Jef was a life-long dedicated VHC member, including having served for several years as VHC president. Jef passed at his home on January 10, 2013, minutes after arriving there from a work detail at the station.

Jef had also served for several years as president of the Frederick County Volunteer Fire/Rescue Association. Over several decades, Jef assisted Emmitsburg Town Government Officials with assuring proper compliance to specifications and code mandates of a great many community constructions projects.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, attendance at the December 6  event was limited. Thus, it is hoped that all who knew Jef will make it a point to view the permanent plaque on display along West Main Street on the exterior wall out front of where Tower 6 sits.

Plaque unveiling: With Jef Fitzgerald, Sr.’s family in attendance, VHC President Tom Ward (far right) unveils a commemorative plaque dedicating a portion of the Fire Station in memory of James E. “Jef” Fitzgerald, Sr.

Photo Courtesy of Vigilant Hose Company*Along with Jef’s photo, wording on the Commemorative Plaque reads: James E. “Jef” Fitzgerald, Sr., 1942–2013, a 55-Year Vigilant Hose Company Life Member. Dedicated in memory of his unselfish service and extraordinary commitment to the Emmitsburg Community, its Volunteer Fire, Rescue and Emergency Medical Services organization, and the Citizens of Frederick County.

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