Fire company getting firm support from brick buyers

April 07, 1991|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff writer

Members of the Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company have a way for your name to go down in histoty.

As part of the company's effort to raise money to build a new fire station - dubbed the "Buy a Brick Campaign." contributors' names will be inscribed in the walkway of the new station.

Proceeds from the campaign will go toward paying off the remaining cost of the new $1.4 million fire station.

The company plans to sell its 29-year-old station for $600,000, which also will go toward the new firehouse, said Thurman Ellis, the company's campaign chairman.

The company also received a $200,000 county grant to help build the new station.

"Being a small company like this, we've got to use everything we can come up with," Ellis said.

The new station, expected to be ready in June, will be more than three times larger than the existing firehouse. Fire Chief Benjamin Kurtz said.

"The station is needed because of the growth of the community," Kurtz said. "We're filled to capacity. We cannot expand where we're at now."

The Company's new station will be just north of the exiting firehouse at Routes 23 and 165. It will house eight fire and rescue vehicles.

As part of the campaign, the company is offering three sizes of bricks: a 4-inch by 8-inch brick for $100; a 1-foot by 1-foot brick for $500; and 2-foot by 2-foot brick for $1,000.

The company has received $3,300 in orders for bricks, Ellis said. To get more contributions campaign organizers two weeks ago mailed 5,000 letters to residents, businesses and civic groups in the company's 26-mile service area in Harford and Baltimore counties, Ellis said.

People who have not received a letter and want to buy a brick for the fire company may call Ellis at 692-6236.

Firefighters hope to continue the campaign after the new station is paid for to provide an additional source of income for the agency, Ellis said.

The 175-member volunteer company operates on a budget of about $300,000 a year, with about $230,000 coming from the county for equipment and operational expenses, Kurtz said.

The rest of the company's budget comes from annual efforts to raise money.

The fire company, which serves northwestern Harford County and eastern Baltirnore County, handled 370 fire calls and 598 ambulance calls last year, Kurtz said. In 1989, the company handled 415 fire and 661 ambulance calls.

The company handled about 360 fire calls a year before 1989, when the number of responses increased and then leveled off again, Kurtz said. The company will continue to use its 6-year-old substation in Black Horse once the new station is built, Ellis said. Three vehicles are based there.

Company directors started planning for the new station three years ago because the company has outgrown its existing facility, even with the substation, Ellis said.

We have no place to park," El-lis said. "We can't hold functions. It's tight."

The existing station is located on a half-acre site, leaving no room for an expansion. Ellis said. The company has a five-acre lot for the new facility.

Kurtz said the existing station has 7,440 square feet of space. The new station will have about 26,000 square feet, providing room for offices, a garage and a multi-purpose room for functions and training sessions.

"With the new station, we have space for today and for the future," Kurtz said. 'This building is not built only for the 1990s. It will be for the 21st century.

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