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Members honored at VHC banquet

On January 5, 2002, the Vigilant Hose Company held its 118th Anniversary Banquet at which time new officers were installed and company members were recognized for their service. The evening was a multimedia event with a visual program of reflections on the company over the past year.

Tim Clarke, president of the company for the past four years, said in opening remarks that he was extremely proud of the organizationís achievements this past year in regard to the tip jar tax issue. In May 2001 the United States District Court ruled in the fire companyís favor and the Internal Revenue Service dropped their appeal in September. Currently waiting for a check in the amount of $37,000 plus interest, Clarke said, "Iíve been assured that the check is in the mail." Thanking the entire membership for their support in this effort, Clarke singled out Bill Sanders and Bruce Reeder for their efforts. He also thanked Frederick County Commissioner John "Lennie" Thompson for supporting them in pursuing the IRS.

Much of the atmosphere and tone for the evening was centered on the events of September 11, 2001. President Clarke reflected on the communityís support of their "Fill the Helmet" campaign which began as an effort to raise $10,000 to support families of FDNY. Because of the communityís generosity VHC raised $25,000 and was able to present a $12,500 check to two "adopted" families of firefighters lost in the WTC collapse. Clarke showing his emotions said, "I will never forget the two days in New York and cannot put into words the emotions I experienced. I was never so proud of all of you when Chief Frank Davis and I presented your money to those two families. Know that all of you have truly made a difference in their lives." Clarke said he has a new perspective on life and on the ability for this country to sustain itself in a crisis.

Briefly addressing those present Mayor Carr said, "I would just like the Vigilant Hose Company to know how much the town of Emmitsburg, and the surrounding people who depend on you, really appreciate what you do." The company responded to 469 calls last year with an average of 14 personnel per call. One hundred fourteen of those calls were for medical assists; 84 were for structure responses, and 63 were for auto accidents. Representing the Maryland State Firemanís association Harry Hetz thanked VHC for being a member and supporter of the organization since the late teens and early 1920ís. He recognized the company for giving approximately 6000 hours of personnel time over the past year. Equating that to the $70.00 per hour mechanic fee to service his car, he thanked the company for contributing $420,000 worth of man hours to the community.

The company was honored by guest R. David Paulison, newly installed U.S. Fire Administrator. Having been in Washington only a few short months and in Emmitsburg a couple of times a week, he recognized the town "as having one stop light, one police officer, one grocery store, seven churches, and one h.... of a good fire department." He said, "This is my kind of town." Having 31 years in fire service, Paulson chose to be sworn into his new position at a fire station to remind him where he came from. Addressing the men and women of VHC he said, "Iím here to give you the tools to do your job, thatís my sole purpose." Referring to the events of September 11, he said, "Our job is not done. Our United States fire service is the backbone of homeland defense." Paulison took the opportunity to further unity and cameraderie among the members saying, "We have to be diligent. We have to make sure we know what weíre doing. We have to have the tools to do our job." In closing, Paulison said, "You guys are great. You do an outstanding job. You volunteer your time for your community; there is no greater service than you can give."

The evening awards ceremony commenced by honoring individuals for their service the past year.

The top responder for 2001 was Randy Myers, followed by Larry Glass, Chad Umbel, John Glass, Vince Boyle, Chris Stahley, Carl White, Scott Maly, Gabe Baker, Doug Wivell, and Patrick "Fish" Fischer.

The top fire police responder was Sam Cool, followed by Steve Orndorff and Mike Boyle.

The top ten length-of-service award winners, based on total activities, were Carl Angleberger (with 168 points), Randy Myers (116), Cliff Shriner (109), Jim Click (101), John Hollinger (98), Scott Maly (89), Wayne Powell (88), Gabe Baker (86), Carl White (83), and Chris Stahley (77).

Years of service awards were presented to Paul Krietz, Glenn Swain, and Jason West for five years; Frank Rauschenberg- ten years; John Glass, Bob Rosensteel, Jr., and Dave Vaughn- 15 years; Hugh Boyle and Steve Hollinger- 20 years; Herb Click, Jr. - 25 years (Herb also received a life membership to the company); Larry Glass- 30 years; Mike Orndorff, Roland Sanders, and Bill Weidner, Jr.- 35 years; Patrick Boyle- 40 years; John Hollinger- 55 years; and Tom Hoke- 60 years.

A Meritorious Service Award was presented to Patrick Fischer, Glenn Swain, Ronald Topper, and Jim Rice for their efforts during a late night water rescue last July when an automobile left Route 15 and was submerged in the pond at Mt. St. Maryís.

The In-Station Training Award, which is presented to the individual who completes the most hours of in-house training, department drills and recertification, was presented to Jim Click and Glenn Swain.

The Chiefís Award was presented to Patrick Fischer. Chad Umbel received both the Formal Training Award and the Presidentís Award. The Member of the Year Award was presented to Robert A. Rosensteel, Jr.

An unexpected honor came to the Dispatch when publishers Bo and Jean Cadle were presented with honorary memberships for their interest in the welfare of VHC and the community. Honorary membership was also presented to Jim Rice and Dr. Denis Onieal, Superintendent of the National Fire Academy.

The World Ambassador Award was awarded to John S. Hollinger, Guy "Mac" McGlaughlin, and Sterling "Hub" White for their continued efforts in maintaining VHC merchandise for sale at the firehouse.

A 9-11 Leadership Award was established and presented to Chief Frank Davis for his leadership during the 9-11 crisis. Chief Davis maintained liaison with the FEMA Operations Center at the National Emergency Training Center to keep abreast of regional and national activities.

Also commended were Assistant Chief Robert A. Rosensteel, Jr., Lieutenant Carl Angleberger, and Karyn Mayers who helped in providing logistical support and maintaining an operations center throughout this emergency.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame, which is the Companyís highest award category, were Guy A. Baker, Jr. and Thomas L. Topper (deceased member). A memorial service was held during the ceremony for deceased member George Danner.

The banquet meal was provided by One More Tavern and the evening concluded with dancing provided by Denny & Elaineís Classic Entertainment & DJ Service.

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