Recognizing the First African-American Staffed Fire Station For Achieving 100 Years of Continuous Operation.

[ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, January 11, 2018] The John M. Langston Citizens Association presents a Centennial Celebration for Arlington County’s Halls Hill Fire Station 8 taking place January 26, 2019, from 2-6 PM at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, 4301 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203.  The program will start promptly at 3pm. All guest are invited to attend the one-hour reception prior to the start of the program from 2-3pm. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served. This is a FREE event but requires registration via Evite.  

Already a 55-year-old thriving community, in 1918 the Halls Hill community would once again make history starting what is said to be the first all-black fire station formed south of the Mason Dixon line.  The Halls Hill Volunteer Fire Department (HHVFD) Fire Station 8, serviced the segregated properties of Halls Hill.

Station 8 would serve segregated, and unrecognized by the County for almost 40 years. Eleven of those years would involve protesting and lobbying for the County to finally make Station 8 a paid company.  This finally occurred in 1951, eleven years after the County’s white fire companies. On January, 8, 1951, Alfred W. Clark, and Julian Syphax reported to Fire Station No. 8 as the first two paid African American firemen in Arlington County.  The number of paid firemen at Fire Station No. 8 would continue to expand in the 1950s.  Arlington County added the fourth position in 1951, the fifth position in 1952, the sixth position in 1953, and the seventh and eighth positions in 1954.  The company expanded to 12 firemen (2 Captains, 2 Lieutenants, and 10 fire fighters) by 1962.

Fire Station 8 has changed the course of history, and positively impacted opportunities for African Americans in the fire service.  Our celebration is honoring not only the history and those who’ve paved the way, but also the continuing legacy of Fire Station 8. This includes the unveiling of the Fire Station 8 Legacy Scholarship; which is being given to enhance recruiting of Arlington County students into the Fire Service.  

The Halls Hill-High View Park community is extremely proud that this station is still standing today, and in operation as part of the County’s fire service! We would like to give a very special thank you to our Legacy Sponsors: Platinum-Virginia Hospital Center; Platinum In-Kind Sponsor-Page Global; and Silver Sponsor-Johnson Associates for their generous contributions of $1000 or more to this celebration and scholarship. Also, special thanks to the Crown Cab Co. Hartman Reed, President; Heidelberg Bakery; and the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Virginia, Inc (MWPHGLVA) 31st Masonic District Prince Hall Masons for contributing as Centennial Patron Sponsors to this celebration and scholarship.

The John M. Langston Citizens Association is the 501c4 local civic organization representing the High View Park/Halls Hill neighborhood in the northern area of Arlington, Virginia. For more information on the organization please visit


Register and donate to the scholarship for this FREE event at Evite.  If you would like more information about this topic, and how you can be a Legacy sponsor please contact

Leave a Reply