The story of Dunn Loring began with sixteen men meeting at the residence of Mr. Merle Clifford on May 11, 1942. Their purpose was to gain support for the formation of a new fire company to serve the community. It was at this meeting that votes were cast in favor of the initiative. Impromptu elections were held to appoint temporary officers and Merle Clifford was elected the first President and Chief. The bylaws used by the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department were adopted and the Dunn Loring Auxiliary Fire Company came into being.
In those days, the County of Fairfax required any organization desiring to be an independent fire department to have a firehouse and two fire engines. Lacking all of the above, the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department agreed to sponsor Dunn Loring until the time came that the requisite resources could be obtained. Thus Dunn Loring was to be known as an auxiliary fire company of the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department. To help get started, Vienna loaned a pickup truck for the company’s use. In 1943, after many efforts to secure a fire engine the Civil Defense Administration donated the company’s first fire engine, a Chevrolet. Since the company did not have a building to house the pumper, President Clifford volunteered to house it in his service station, Clifford’s Garage, located at Leesburg Pike and Dunn Loring Road (now Old Gallows Road). Later that year in October, Mr. G. Albert Merry donated a parcel of land to the members of Dunn Loring located at the intersection of Gallows Road and Hunter Road (now known as Cedar Lane). It was also during that month’s membership meeting the first discussion occurred regarding a ladies club to help support the fire company, later known as the Dunn Loring Ladies Auxiliary.
In November of 1943 the company made its first purchase, a fire engine. Nearly a year later work began on the first firehouse. In 1944, a cistern and well were added to provide water for the tanks onboard the fire engines. In April of 1945, an agreement was signed with the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company to provide direct telephone connection to the siren mounted above the firehouse. This service allowed a relay to trip the siren calling the volunteers to service. The first record of the total number of fire calls surfaced in the minutes of the December 1944 membership meeting - 50 alarms rang, of which twenty-one occurred in March alone. It was reported that an average of seven men responded to each call with an average of 250 volunteer hours per firefighter for the year. By the summer of 1946, the ranks of the company had increased to 100 members. Efforts began to secure a second pumper for the company thus providing Dunn Loring the opportunity to become an independent department. By January of 1947, the process was completed and a charter sent to the State Corporate Commission in Richmond for approval and Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Department Incorporated came into existence.
In 1951, Dunn Loring received its designation of Fairfax County Fire Company 13. Today, the Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department operates two fire engines, two medical transport units, a specialty rehabilitation unit and a utility vehicle out of the fire station built in 1968 and later added to in 1989 on the very same location as the original 1944 structure. With over 80 members volunteering in excess of 20,000 hours of service to the community annually, the Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department continues its tradition of providing premiere fire, rescue, and emergency medical services alongside the member of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. The Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department is part of the Fairfax County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association (FCVFRA), a partnership of 12 volunteer fire and rescue departments in Fairfax County. Volunteers in these 12 departments are full partners with the career staff of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, providing emergency services in and around Fairfax County.