HVFD started its service to Hillandale and its surrounding communities with a 1929 International truck that was donated by the Silver Spring Volunteer Fire Department and a 1931 Brockway fire engine. The initial firehouse was a barn loaned by the Rector of the Queen of Apostles Seminary. In 1947, HVFD purchased its first new piece of fire apparatus, a 1947 Reo chassis built by the Howe Fire Apparatus Company. It incorporated many new innovations one of which was the pre-connected 1-1/2" attack lines, one of the first in the area. In 1950, the department purchased its second new piece of fire apparatus, another Reo built by American Fire Apparatus Co. In 1953, the department purchased its first Ambulance, a 1953 Pontiac, since that time, the department has provided the community with complete emergency Ambulance Service.

During World War II HVFD remained a central part of the community through its participation in Civil Defense and by housing air raid wardens at the firehouse.

In May 1946 a new firehouse was dedicated to replace the barn that the department had been using since its beginnings in 1941. An addition to the firehouse was completed in 1955 that included two new engine rooms and converted the old engine room into living space and the upstairs kitchen into a meeting room. In 1962, a new fire station in Colesville was finished and dedicated.

In 1970 Montgomery County partnered with the Montgomery County Heart Association to develop and implement the first pre-hospital advanced life support (ALS) units, called "Heart Mobiles," in the area. Station 12 became home to Medic 4 in 1976. Initially certified as Cardiac Rescue Technicians, these first paramedics and those that followed were instrumental in the development of ALS service in Montgomery County and the development and training of both career and volunteer paramedics. Without both the career and volunteer paramedics ALS care in Hillandale, Colesville, and the surrounding communities would not be as excellent as it is today.

The events of September 11, 2001 were a horrible tragedy for the nation. Three members of HVFD assisted in rescue work at the Pentagon. HVFD has continued to play an important role in the community since the 9-11 tragedy, and maintains a high level of preparedness.