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First Hose celebrates 'family'

January 31, 2006|by MARIE GILBERT /Staff Writer

marieg@herald-mail.com

BOONSBORO - Oley Griffith looks at 2006 as a year of change.

As fire chief of the First Hose Co. of Boonsboro, he has seen growth in his community that will have an impact on fire service.

But Saturday night was not about change. It was about tradition, as First Hose held its annual appreciation and awards banquet at the fire hall on St. Paul Street.

"This is an opportunity to recognize those people who have made the past year a success," Griffith said. "It's also a chance to thank the families of our firefighters for supporting them while they do their job."

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Awards were presented to members of First Hose, Co. 6, as well as its substation, Co. 8, in the Rohrersville area.

Donald Shumaker, First Hose president, said Saturday evening's banquet "is an event that everyone at First Hose looks forward to."

"We're all volunteers," the Boonsboro resident said, "and our members work hard. This is a way to show our appreciation for each other. It's a special night."

Mary Dorsey, head of the fire company's auxiliary, considered Saturday's event a "family night."

"We're all one big family," she said. "And I'm the mom to a lot of the younger firefighters. So I feel good that they're getting some recognition."

Dorsey said First Hose holds a special place in her heart, since her son is the assistant chief of Co. 8 and her future son-in-law is lieutenant of Co. 8.

"It really is a family affair," she said.

"It's nice to have a night when our members are recognized for their hard work," said John Sherwood of Boonsboro, assistant chief for Co. 6. "This is a big night for us. It's a chance to relax and have fun but also to let our members know they are appreciated."

Lisa Myers of Hagerstown, who was a guest at Saturday's banquet, considered it an honor to be invited.

"Everyone here works hard and does a great job of serving their community," she said. "You can really feel the friendship in this room. It's nice to be a part of this."

Griffith said this is the fire company's 174th year of continuous service to the community.

Awards and other honors include:

  • Firefighter of the Year (Co. 6), Jack Culver

  • Firefighter of the Year (Co. 8), James Shoemaker

  • Fire Line Officer of the Year (Co. 6), Jay Brandenburg

  • Fire Line Officer of the Year (Co. 8), Richard Atwell

  • EMS Responder (Co. 8), Scott Norris

  • Engineer (Driver of the Year), Keith Abrecht

  • Training Award, John Sherwood

  • Most Dedicated Member Award, Vernon Brown

  • Chief Award, Tim Smith

  • Washington County Vo-tech Fire and Rescue Award, Logan McGrane

  • Administrator of the Year, Beth Brandenburg

  • Fire prevention awards, Melanie Biesecker and Dennis Reese

  • A special award was presented to Curt Fales, past assistant chief.

  • Recognized for kitchen help were Gary and Mary Dorsey, and Neil Fales.

  • Member Thomas Long Sr. received recognition for his 52nd year of service.


Also honored were Olden Excavation, Sinnisens Foundation (providing water rescue equipment) and the top responders of Cos. 6 and 8.

The 2006 officers were sworn in during the evening. The new line officers for Co. 6 are Oley Griffith, chief; Jay Brandenburg, deputy chief; John Sherwood, assistant chief; Dennis Reese, 1st captain; Keith Abrecht, 2nd captain; Troy Lloyd, 1st lieutenant and safety officer; and Dave Knight, 2nd lieutenant.

Line officers for Co. 8 are Jeremy Dorsey, assistant chief; Richard Atwell, captain; Vernon Wachter, lieutenant; and Scott Norris, EMS lieutenant.

Administrative officers for 2006 are Donald Shumaker, president; Tim Smith, vice president; Jay Brandenburg, treasurer; Beth Brandenburg, secretary; John Sherwood, public relations officer; Vernon Brown, building and grounds; and James Jones, chaplain.

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