(9/4) Vigilant Hose Company and Rocky
Ridge Volunteer Fire Company were among the Frederick County fire companies
that received recognition for their efforts to ensure firefighter safety by
making sure that firefighters used safety belts.
“It’s been proven that deaths have
occurred because firefighters weren’t wearing seatbelts,” said VHC Chief Chris
At a ceremony on Aug. 27 at the National
Fallen Firefighters Memorial, Frederick County firefighters and rescue
personnel were recognized for using their seatbelts in emergency vehicles.
Burt Clark, who has led the push for
greater seatbelt use, praised the volunteers and career personnel for setting
an example for companies nationwide. Clark started the seatbelt pledge drive to
Christopher Brian Hunton, a Texas firefighter who died in 2005 shen he fell out
of a fire truck responding to an alarm.
“This was the first time the certificates
were awarded in front of the memorial on the campus. Since we were honoring our
local people, I thought it would be fitting,” he said.
In 2007, 27 firefighters were killed in
vehicle crashes. In the 19 fatalities in which seat belt status was known, 11
firefighters weren’t wearing their seatbelts, according to the USFA's annual
Stahley said his company has been pushing
seatbelt usage for awhile. He said he had no problem getting any of his
firefighters to sign the seatbelt pledge and, in fact, the company is 100
“Our officers police pretty hard before we
even pull out,” Stahley said. “They usually don’t have to say anything because
everyone’s already using their seatbelts.”
Besides Vigilant Hose Company and Rocky
Ridge Volunteer Fire Company, the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue
Services, Independent Hose Company, Junior Fire Company, Brunswick Volunteer
Fire Company and Volunteer Ambulance and Rescue, Walkersville Volunteer Fire
Company, Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Company, Jefferson Volunteer Fire Company,
Wolfsville Volunteer Fire Company and Urbana Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company
also received recognition.
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