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Emergency crews rally to aid one of their own

January 17, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

Middletown firefighters and rescuers got an unpleasant jolt early Jan. 10 when they responded to a serious accident involving one of their "brothers."

Scott Douglas Mullendore, an eight-year veteran with the Boonsboro Fire Department and well known to the Middletown volunteers, had lost control of his 1988 Chevrolet Blazer, Frederick County Sheriff's Deputies said. The vehicle had hit a guardrail and telephone pole before overturning down an embankment, they said.

The accident, which has left Scott paralyzed and still struggling to recover in a Baltimore hospital, has already sparked a massive support effort back home.

"They have plans at Middletown for Scotty," said Curt Fales, assistant Boonsboro fire chief. Those plans will include fundraisers to help with Scott's recuperation.

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The Boonsboro Ambulance Company has already given $1,000 to a trust fund that has been set up at all F&M banks in Washington County.

A patient at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, Scott is still battling life-threatening injuries.

"Friday, Scott was still just semi-conscious," said his father, Lt. Doug Mullendore of the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

While his head injuries weren't serious, Scott's chest was severely bruised in the accident, causing serious lung problems that developed into pneumonia in one lung, his father said.

But most devastating of all the injuries is a severed spinal cord, which has left the 23-year-old Boonsboro resident permanently paralyzed from mid-chest down, his father said.

Scott does have the use of his arms, his father said. "He squeezes your hand when you hold it, but we don't know if he knows who it is."

Within hours of the accident, his friends were rallying.

"We are planning a bonanza night in March for Scott," said Shannan Ramsey, a Boonsboro firefighter and friend. In addition, she said, a portion of bingo proceeds will be included in the trust fund.

A captain with the fire department, Scott was at the new Station 8 fire station on Md. 67 every minute he could spare from his job with the Town of Boonsboro.

"He dedicated his life to the fire service," Fales said. "I've gotten calls from mothers of kids who learned fire prevention from Scott."

Some of those children have written poems to cheer Scott back to health, Fales said.

Looking ahead to that day, Fales said the goal is to raise enough funds to get a special vehicle for Scott.

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