Rohrersville open house held at fire station

September 18, 2000

Rohrersville open house held at fire station


ROHRERSVILLE - Quietly, 5-year-old Elizabeth Fraser said the numbers 9-1-1 to herself as she tentatively dialed and waited for an answer.

"What is your emergency?" a woman's voice on the phone asked.

Uncertain of what to say Fraser looked up at Mary Dorsey a social member of the Rohrersville substation of the First Hose Company of Boonsboro.

"If your cat was in a tree would you dial 911?" Dorsey asked the child.

"Yes" the child replied.

The 911 call demonstration was part of open house at the First Hose Company of Boonsboro-Rohrersville Substation Sunday afternoon celebrating the substation's second anniversary.

About 500 people wandered around substation on Md. 67 throughout the day, looking at and climbing in fire trucks and other vehicles and touring the building which sits on 7.5 acres, said Boonsboro Capt. Jay Brandenburg.


Dorsey, who provides 911 demonstrations like the one on Sunday through State Farm Insurance Co. of Frederick, said she often encounters children like Elizabeth, who are shy and unsure when to call 911.

She explained to Elizabeth that if her cat was in a tree it may be an emergency to her but it was not to the rescue personnel.

She described situations that would merit a call to 911, such fires and accidents where people are injured or trapped.

Dorsey also told the child that it's important to know her first and last name and address so that rescue personnel can get there as fast as possible.

She said that if Elizabeth ever has to call 911 to "use your playground voice."

"Kids can be real bashful when they have to talk on the phone," and don't speak loud enough, she said.

The Fraser family of Rohrersville came to the open house to learn about fire safety and get an up-close look at the shiny red fire engines that make so much noise going to an emergency, said Tammy Fraser, the child's mother.

The 7,800-square-foot substation opened Sept. 19, 1998. It serves southern Washington County and volunteers recorded 127 calls for service in 1999, said Brandenburg.

Literature on fire and first-aid safety tips were distributed along with smoke detectors. Visitors learned how the company's new thermal imaging camera works. Children were able to get their picture taken with a digital camera. The photo was placed in a folder with areas for parents to write down vital statistics in keep on file in case of emergency.

A member of the Maryland State Police SWAT team was on hand with weapons and law enforcement tools for people to examine. Jim Woods of the Maryland State Fire Marshal Bomb Squad provided samples of inert bomb equipment and answered questions from the public and the Washington County mobile fire safety house was also at the open house.

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