Firefighters' friends in need Anne Arundel County: Responding to multi-alarm blazes, volunteers provide coffee, food.

December 24, 1997

THERE ARE good reasons to remember the work of the Anne Arundel County Alarmers this holiday season. Volunteers of that commendable auxiliary are still busy selling fresh Christmas trees in their traditional fund-raising activity. Also, this year has seen the Ferndale-based group's 32 volunteers unusually busy.

The Anne Arundel County Alarmers were established in 1958, when three friends watched a fire at an A&P food store in Glen Burnie and commented on how freezing firefighters had no coffee or food to lift their spirits. Since then, the Alarmers have made it their goal to respond to every two-alarm commercial fire and three-alarm residential blaze in Anne Arundel County with a 40-foot truck equipped with a kitchenette, bathroom and paramedic gear.

"They are much needed," Anne Arundel firefighter John Hill said as he took a short break during the recent spectacular blaze that swept through five historic district buildings in the state capital.

That fire was a textbook example of how the Alarmers bring comfort to firefighters.

Two members, Steve and Cris Saghy, were baking Christmas cookies in their Ferndale home when their beeper sounded shortly after 6 p.m. They hastily cleared the kitchen, grabbed 10 dozen donuts at a nearby shop and headed for Annapolis. It turned into a long night. The Alarmers stayed on the scene until 5: 30 a.m., dishing out 300 hot dogs, 400 sodas, eight gallons of coffee and three gallons of soup.

Most Alarmers are retirees. But even those who had a job to go to in the morning worked late into the night on the Annapolis fire scene.

For a number of years, the Alarmers have been selling Christmas trees to raise funds. They will still be at it today on the parking lot of the Ferndale Fire Department, 4 S. Broadview Boulevard, and Northway Liquor Store on Veterans Highway, north of Old Mill Road. Their Scotch pines, Frazier and Douglas firs and blue spruce trees are competitively priced. Buyers even get a raffle ticket.

We can think of no better way for Anne Arundel countians to show their appreciation for the Alarmers' work than to buy a Christmas tree from them. That patronage will assure that firefighters have a friend in need when the next big fire occurs.

Pub Date: 12/24/97

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