Fire and rescue volunteers about to get 2 new ambulances

NEIGHBORS

March 18, 1994|By KATHY SUTPHIN

The family at 702 N. Main St. is expecting the delivery of identical twins next month and wants the greater Mount Airy community to share in this double blessing.

The delivery, which is expected to cost approximately $134,000, will be performed by specialists from St. Paul, Minn. Cribs or cradles aren't necessary for the new arrivals. All that is needed are two parking spaces inside the new Mount Airy Fire Company's red brick garage.

Two new ambulances with 145-inch boxes, crafted on 1993 Ford F-350 1-ton chassis, will be delivered to Mount Airy's family of fire and rescue volunteers in about five weeks, said Lt. Gary Hubble. Mr. Hubble, a 14-year fire company member, is chairman of the ambulance replacement committee.

The twin vehicles, which will be christened as units 18 and 19, are being custom-built at the Road Rescue factory in Minnesota, Mr. Hubble said.

The ambulances will be white with red and silver stripes down the sides. They will arrive ready for service after equipment transfers and the installation of radios.

"These are very high quality ambulances," said Mr. Hubble.

Owning identical ambulances with identical storage locations for life-saving equipment has been an important goal of fire company members, who recognize that every second counts when they must respond to emergency medical situations, Mr. Hubble said. It can be difficult when things are located in different compartments, he said.

The ambulance delivery will mark the first time that the Mount Airy company has had identical ambulances. Mr. Hubble said the company usually tries to replace its ambulances every four years.

"We've found out over the years they rack up the miles quicker than anything else in the firehouse," he said. "We want to keep decent equipment."

A Mount Airy ambulance that has a 1986 chassis should have been replaced in 1990, but the company decided to wait because of new station construction. The company decided to replace its other ambulance, which is on a 1989 chassis, to capitalize on its trade-in value.

Mr. Hubble and the six other members of the committee explored manufacturers, equipment options and prices, and attempted to be thrifty without sacrificing quality. The choice to use a 1993 chassis resulted in a $4,400 savings, he said.

The decision to buy a Road Rescue ambulance was made in part because of its excellent past service with the fire company. "That's the same brand we have right now," he added.

The fire company's auxiliary, which caters events and holds dinners throughout the year to raise money, surprised Mr. Hubble at the January banquet when its members pledged about $67,000 to pay for one ambulance. A special sign will be mounted on one new ambulance in recognition of the auxiliary's generosity.

Last year, the Mount Airy Fire Company answered 934 ambulance calls -- a 94-call increase from the previous year -- with an average response time of 2 1/2 minutes.

Mr. Hubble said new residents who are moving from areas where ambulance and fire services are county-paid may not realize that all fire service in Carroll County is provided by volunteer companies. Running a fire company is a very expensive responsibility, he added.

When an ambulance is called, people who use the service are encouraged to donate $50 for basic life-support calls and $75 for advanced life-support calls. That's not a bill, it's just a call for help, he said.

A request for community assistance with the cost of the twin ambulances will take place during the Mount Airy Fire Company's April Fund Drive.

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The rolling fields of Mount Airy's Watkins Park will provide nesting places for 1,800 brightly colored plastic eggs, to be hidden in preparation for Mount Airy's Annual Easter Egg Extravaganza next weekend.

The Mount Airy Jaycees have scheduled the event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 26. Given our history of mercurial weather patterns, the sponsors have scheduled a rain or snow date for April 2, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the park.

Children from 1 to 10 can participate in the Easter Egg Hunt free. The hunt will be divided into separate hunts for five age groups to encourage fairness and fun for all participants.

Games and raffles will be held after the hunts. The Jaycees' Easter Bunny will be available, and a photo memento of the day will cost $2 per shot. For information, call (301) 829-5349.

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Area residents are invited to take time out from their busy schedules tomorrow to share their heritages and preserve their family histories with members of the Carroll County Genealogical Society.

The Family Bible Records event will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mount Airy Branch Library.

Participants are asked to bring their old family Bibles to the library, where local genealogists will carefully photocopy birth, baptismal, marriage and death records at no cost.

Each participant will receive a photocopy. Information gathered at the event will be included in a Bible Survey Publication by the Genealogical Council of Maryland.

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