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Local briefs

September 23, 1997

Sharpsburg rescue chief back on job

SHARPSBURG - The chief of the Sharpsburg Area Emergency Medical Services has returned to his post after a month-long hiatus.

Washington County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association president Jay Grimes said Thursday that Larry Myers returned to the job Sept. 14.

Myers announced last month he was taking a leave of absence in the wake of criticism of his management.

Since that time, the association has assumed daily management of the troubled rescue company. Grimes said the company has made strides over the last few weeks.

"It's working a lot better that it was," he said.

Two paid medics are now on duty at the station from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

The addition of paid staff has been controversial at the station, which was the last in the county that did not have paid rescue personnel. But Grimes said the addition has allowed the company to upgrade its service from Basic Life Support to Advanced Life Service.

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Although a final decision has not been made, Grimes said the paid medics likely will remain permanently.

Boonsboro to launch forestry unit

SHARPSBURG - The First Hose Co. of Boonsboro soon will sport Washington County's only forestry unit.

The Washington County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association voted Thursday to designate the vehicle Forestry 6.

The vehicle will operate like a brush truck, except that it is much larger than a typical brush truck, said Jay Brandenburg, the volunteer company's public relations officer.

Brandenburg said officials hope to launch the 2 1/2-ton truck within the next month. He said it is similar to a unit in service in Charles Town, W.Va.

The Boonsboro unit is a converted 1954 U.S. military unit. It is owned by the state, but Boonsboro can use it for free, Brandenburg said.

Brandenburg said it has a 750-gallon tank. Local officials have outfitted it with a pump, he said.

Brandenburg said the truck will be able to maneuver through thick woods and get to places that have been hard to reach in the past. He said it should also prove useful during blizzards.

"It's twice as heavy (as a brush truck)," he said. "You don't get stuck. You push over trees."

-Brendan Kirby

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