Firefighters' annual convention opens today Equipment show, parade are offered for public during three-day event

August 22, 1996|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Westminster Fire Engine and Hose Company No. 1 plays host to the annual convention of the five-state Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen's Association today through Saturday.

Besides meetings and business, the convention offers two public activities for firefighting buffs.

Tomorrow, an antique fire equipment show will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. near the ball fields at Westminster Playground.

"They'll have antique equipment on display from hand-drawn to motorized fire engines," said Robin Hinchey, assistant treasurer of the Westminster company.

"They have an early hand pumper from Greencastle, Pa., made out of leather parts that they've restored and they'll let the public pump it," Hinchey said.

Also on display will be Westminster's 1924 American La- France ladder truck and a late 1920s pumper.

Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen's Association is a union of about 125 to 150 fire departments from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

This is the first time the Westminster company has played host to the convention.

A parade will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday that will feature fire equipment. The parade will start at Monroe Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, continue along Pennsylvania to Main Street and Longwell Avenue, ending at East Middle School.

"The newest piece of equipment in the parade will be a 1995 ladder truck from Chambersburg, Pa., so we'll go from the early 1700s to 1995," Hinchey said.

The parade's grand marshals will be Bill Weller, Richard Gehr and Wilbur Wright, three Westminster members with 50 or more years of service.

Area high school bands and majorette groups will participate.

The convention begins at 10 a.m. today at the Westminster company's social hall at 66 E. Main St. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. in Big Baker Chapel at Western Maryland College.

New officers will be elected and installed tomorrow.

Hinchey has been nominated for advertising manager. Charles Barnhart, a member of Taneytown Volunteer Fire Department and the county Emergency Medical Services coordinator, has been nominated for chaplain.

Westminster Treasurer Bob Cumberland is the departing Cumberland Valley president.

Pub Date: 8/22/96

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