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CRS to celebrate 50 years

February 22, 2005|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Hundreds of people have served Community Rescue Service in some way in its 50 years of operation.

Austin Rinker said he hopes to see almost all of them, especially those who have lost touch in recent years, at 50th anniversary celebrations to be held later this year.

Rinker, a volunteer paramedic and co-coordinator of CRS' 50th anniversary committee, said an Aug. 20 picnic and a trio of weekend events starting Sept. 9 will commemorate the anniversary. Rinker said the hope is to get new and old members of the rescue service "reacquainted."

"There are well over 700 people who've been with Community Rescue (Service) since 1955, when we started," Rinker said. "We're hoping to reconnect with a lot of people over the summer."

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Rinker said getting former members to participate is key because, "without them, we wouldn't be here."

"Even though 50 years separate us, we're still doing the same thing - taking care of people when they need help," Rinker said.

The August picnic, which likely will be held in Halfway, is open to all active members and alumni, Rinker said.

Rinker said the September events will begin Sept. 9 with an open house for members, past and present. On Sept. 10, an anniversary banquet will be held, at a cost of $25 per person, at Elks Lodge 378 off Robinwood Drive.

Community Rescue Service Chief Christopher Amos said awards for outstanding members will be given out at the event.

Amos said that on Sept. 11, there will be a community open house that includes safety displays and child safety seat checks. Amos said there also will be a special ceremony to honor the emergency responders killed during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Amos said the events, while bringing members and alumni together, also will be a time for the rescue service to highlight the character of its volunteers.

"We've been up, and we've been down, but we continue to get the units out and continue to have good people here," Amos said.

"It's a chance to prove to the community that we're there for them, and we'll continue to be there for them and be better in the future," he said later.

Anyone seeking more information about the rescue service's anniversary events may contact Rinker at 301-791-5368 or CRS headquarters at 301-733-1112.

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