About the end of 1894 the business men of Berlin purchased a hand pumper and some hose and made plans to construct a wooden tank as a water supply. A loose and informal organization automatically sprang into existence. All who had contributed met to discuss its use and anything pertaining to it… so when on a Sunday night in August of 1895, a fire started in a hayloft on Gay St., directly behind the Atlantic Hotel, some of these men went onto action with their acquired pumper. They pulled it to an open well and for a short time fought the fire. However, the well went dry—their water supply now gone, the pumper was abandoned and burned along with most of Berlin's business section.
From 1895 until the time that the first water mains were laid, the town was served by a bucket brigade. There was no organization, you simply grabbed a bucket and started water on either your, or your neighbor's house.
In 1901 another major fire stuck the downtown area, and again on October 1, 1904. These fires were fought with will, determination, and buckets.
A meeting was called by the Mayor and Council on January 28, 1910. All persons interested in forming a fire company were requested to attend. The following men volunteered: Thomas Jarvis, Wade Brittingham, George Mitchell, Frank Barlett, Harry L. Jarvis, Harry Davidson, George Givans, S. C. Jones, S. M. Quillin, Walter Wimbrow, Guy E. Boston, William Bethards, Theodore Purnell, A. P. Collins, Peter Wimbrow, Selby Purnell, O. H. Cropper, Robert Massey, Howard Furbush, Carey Birch, Reg Pattey Thomas Marshall, Scott Bowman, and E. Bounds.
From this meeting, the Berlin Fire company was born. The first equipment the company had were 2 hand pulled hose carts which were built by Theodore Wimbrow.
The first major fire was on November 2, 1912 at the Berlin Milling Co. the fireman were delayed in responding the alarm due to bad street conditions, and after reaching the scene, they were handicapped by the lack of water, which were the main factors which caused the total destruction of the mill.
1912 saw the purchase of the first motorized piece of equipment, a used Oldsmobile Autocrat, purchased from a dealer in Philadelphia. The truck was kept at Murphy's Garage until the company moved in new quarters in June 1916.
In 1922 Pocomoke fell victim to a serious fire of their own, and requested assistance from numerous neighboring fire companies, including Berlin. Just past the Dryden's house, now known as Merry of Sherwood, every tire on the Oldsmobile blew out. After the firemen returned from Pocomoke to which they got by hopping rides with other responding companies, they decided to get a new truck.