Continuing with last week's story about the Anne Arundel Alarmers Association, now we'll take a look at the group's operations.
It begins with the dispatcher, a 24-hour-a-day job. When a call is receivedfor assistance, the dispatcher summons the volunteers available for duty. Some of them, like Bill Seiglein, carry pagers when away from home.
The first three to arrive at the association's building on Glenmont Avenue leave in the bus for the fire, civil disturbance or other emergency. Other volunteers follow in their own vehicles. Aware that their building is in a residential neighborhood, they are careful not to make an undue disturbance as they leave the community to answer a call.
This organization has been providing food to firefighters, police and emergency personnel for 33 years. Recently they attended the police at a jail disturbance. Two years ago they answered the call when a small plane went down in Ferndale. They were there recently when the state and county police searched for two fugitives from Canadaalong Route 50, an operation that required the Alarmers to be on call for three days straight.
The Alarmers realized some years back that there was also a need for a medical support unit. So when they designed their current bus in 1989, they saw to it that it had up-to-date medical supplies and facilities and was equipped for emergency medical technicians. Some of the Alarmers are also trained as medics, and Dave Altvater points out that the bus is equipped with a phone thathas a direct line to the hospital.
At a recent Volunteer Fireman's Association convention in Odenton, attended by firefighters from all over the country, the Alarmers were told that their bus is probablythe most advanced vehicle of its kind. Also, the kind of service that is provided by the Alarmers is usually handled by the Salvation Army in areas that do not have support groups.
Most of the Alarmers' approximately 37 members live in the Ferndale-Linthicum area, but a few come from Annapolis and Baltimore. The organization consisted onlyof men until a few years ago, when wives began to join their husbands. Today there are six women in the group. Alarmer Frank Pleyo's wifewas a member until her death earlier this year.
"She loved the Alarmers," he said. "She was the first one out of
bed when we got a call in the middle of the night."
Women, Pleyo said, make a big contribution to the organization. "They do a lot . . . In fact, they domore than we do.
The Alarmers get financial support from the county and donations from the fire and police departments, but rely heavily on five annual fund-raisers. The group sponsors two bull roasts atthe Earleigh Heights Fire hall, one in October and one in April. In September and February the group has pancake breakfasts at the Ferndale Fire Hall. Christmas tree sales take place at the Ferndale Fire Department lot and on Route 3 near Old Mill Road.
Donations also come in from unexpected sources. At the annual Odenton Parade a young man handed an Alarmer $20, saying he did so every year. When the Alarmers were leaving a barn fire, someone walked up to vice president Roy Robey and handed him a $100 bill.
Robey said he thought the man had made a mistake.
"I went looking for him, but it was no mistake; he meant for us to have it," Robey said. It was the owner of the barn.
We can support the Alarmers by attending their bull roasts, pancake breakfasts and by buying their Christmas trees.
Roland Kroegeris president of the Alarmers. Meetings are held monthly.
TheWoman's Club of Linthicum Heights will begin its 1991-1992 club yearwith an Opening Tea at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the clubhouse on Hammonds Ferry Road.
The Linthicum club has been in existence for more than 50 years. It is well-known for its many social, cultural,civic and community projects.
Adults and girls from 5 to 18 who want to join the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland are invited to attend a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the Ferndale Elementary School, Packard Avenue and Hollins Ferry Road.
Girl Scout leaders are needed. Anyone older than 18 who is willing help girls havethe opportunity to experience fun, teamwork and learning is invited to this meeting. Senior citizens are also welcome. It can be very rewarding for both the adult and the girls.
To join, each girl must be accompanied by a parent and should bring a $4 registration fee. If you cannot attend the meeting, call Betty McCoy at 760-8524 for information.
Linthicum Chapter 2244 of the American Association ofRetired Person will meet Thursday, Sept. 12, at St. John's Lutheran Church. The chapter usually meets the first Thursday of the month, but due to a bus trip the meeting was rescheduled for September.
Thedoors open 11 a.m. for socializing and the board meeting. Blood pressure screenings are available at noon. Members are asked to bring their lunches. The chapter will serve cake and coffee.