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New fire station dedicated

September 19, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

ROHRERSVILLE - The "firehouse that tip jars built" was dedicated Saturday afternoon.

A combination of hard work, determination, need and an infusion of funds from gaming revenues led to the introduction Saturday of the first new fire company in Washington County since the 1970s.

Company 8 of Rohrersville officially went on the rolls at 6 p.m. as a crowd of volunteers and well-wishers listened to Washington County Fire and Rescue dispatchers put the company's two fire units in service.

"It takes the Boonsboro Fire Company 10.8 minutes to respond to this area," said Boonsboro Chief Oley Griffith. "Now, with this new station, it will take only 7.3 minutes."

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That will not only translate into improved fire service for southern Washington County but also for insurance savings for homeowners and businesses alike.

"The insurance classification used to be a 9, with 10 being the worst. ... Now it is a class 6, which will give a big break on insurance," Griffith said.

The $515,000 three-bay fire station stands on 7.7 acres of land donated by Robert Millard, six miles south of Boonsboro on the east side of Md. 67.

Assistant Rohrersville Chief Curt Fales will be in charge of the new station where Boonsboro volunteers will be pulling shifts to man the equipment.

"Engine 81 was formerly Engine 62 at Boonsboro," Fales said. "We will also have Forestry 8, an all-wheel-drive vehicle that was also at Boonsboro before."

Fales and two other officers will spend their time at the new station. For at least the next year, Boonsboro volunteers and equipment will be running with the new company, Fales said.

The building has two bunkrooms, four bunks each for male and female firefighters. There also is a kitchen, meeting room, office and lounge.

Fales said gaming money made it possible for the building to become a reality. That money coming in each year will pay the mortgage as well.

And that money is on the rise, according to Kathy Schilens, gaming commission director, who said next year each county fire company will get about $40,000 a year from gaming.

Griffith said he hopes the new company will attract some new volunteers and he challenges young people and not-so-young people to get involved in the fire service.

For more information, call Fales at 301-432-8120 or Griffith at 301-432-2348.

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