One of the original purposes of the fish pond built in front of the Aspen Lodge was to provide a nearby water source in the event of a fire at the President's cabin. Over the years, there have been a number of fires at Camp David. In 1959, the White Pine maintenance building was destroyed in a fire. It was later rebuilt and contains a carpenter shop and a plumbing shop. In 1969, a fire in President Nixon's small office in the Maple cabin broke out when someone tried to thaw out a frozen water pipe.
Camp David now has a full-time professional fire department responsible for protecting 130 facilities at the retreat with many of the buildings being historical wooden structures with fireplaces inside.
|Inside the Camp David fire station|
|This fire truck was built by E-One|
In 2005, the U.S. Navy nominated the Fire Chief at Camp David for "U.S. Navy Military Fire Officer of the Year". Some of his accomplishments included:
- Identified significant equipment shortages on all firefighting apparatus and brought the equipment up to highest standards required for POTUS support.
- Commanded the crash crew for all POTUS flight operations
- Developed the plan to transition from the existing, mostly collateral-duty fire brigade concept to a full-time professional fire department with aviation and damage control rated personnel.
- Identified training requirements for inbound personnel being reassigned to Camp David allowing members to receive Fire Fighter II, ARFF, and Hazardous Materials training prior to reporting for duty.
In 2007, the U.S. Navy nominated a Camp David firefighter for the "DOD Military Firefighter of the Year". Some of his accomplishments:
- Implemented a robust training program, created and maintained 13 training records for U.S. Navy Firefighters.
- Supervised and led 15 Presidential helicopter arrivals and departures which included 75 helicopter training touch and go’s for HMX-1 Helicopter Squadron, H-1’s, H-3’s, SH-60’s, H-46’s, and H-53’s with zero mishaps.
- Led the Command’s duty fire brigade in structural firefighting operations, aircraft crash and salvage procedures, hazardous material operations and CBRN operations.
- Established the development and implementation of 42 maintenance shops and guest facility emergency action plans reducing fire department response times by 50 percent.
|Camp David Fire Department Challenge Coin|
Camp David has entered into a Mutual Aid Memorandum of Agreement with Frederick County Maryland for mutual aid in fire prevention, protection of life and property from fire, firefighting, rescue, and hazardous materials response. This agreement defines the rules for requesting and receiving aid in fighting fires at Camp David and in Frederick County.
|Mutual Aid Memorandum of Agreement (full document)|
Read more about the Navy Fire and Emergency Services program.
Camp David Tour; IAFC; Commander Navy Installations Command