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Fire Heritage Center start membership drive

(10/16) The National Fire Heritage Center is ready to start adding members to its group.

During the group’s annual meeting on Oct. 6 at the Vigilant Hose Company, President Ronny Coleman said, “We don’t have any members yet. All we have is a board.”

By the end of the meeting, the directors and officers had remedied that by establishing the costs and levels of membership so that member rosters could begin being filled.

Members who join during the next year will be considered charter members of the organization. Coleman is hoping to get at least 250 charter members. Members can join at five different levels for an annual membership fee of $25, $50, $100, $250 or $500 or more.

Secretary Wayne Powell said that the Frederick County fire departments are also contributing $500 a piece in one-time donations to show their support of the NFHC.

“The town has also been supporting us in a variety of ways,” Powell said. “They’ve been absolutely wonderful.”

One reason the executive board wanted to start soliciting members was that revenues need to be generated to renovate the old Emmitsburg Ambulance building so that the rear area can be used as the temporary home for the NFHC. The organization also needs to begin contributing $2,000 a year to Frederick County government to pay its share of the building upkeep.

Vice President William Killen has also written a new book called Firefighting with Henry’s Model T. He is donating revenue from the book to six different charities, including the NFHC. He made his first donation of $250 during the annual meeting. The book is available currently at

Once the ambulance building is ready to become the NFHC, it won’t lack for material.

“There isn’t anything like it anywhere in the world and the interest has been phenomenal,” Powell said.

Eventually the goal of the center is to have all of the materials it contains available electronically.

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