A firefighter's idea sticks and is catching on

NEIGHBORS

April 02, 2002|By Dana Klosner-Wehner | Dana Klosner-Wehner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FIREFIGHTERS throughout Howard County are honoring their "brothers" lost in the terrorist attacks Sept. 11 with FDNY (Fire Department of New York) American flag stickers on most of the emergency vehicles.

It started with an idea from master firefighter Dylan Murray of Fire and Rescue Station 6 in Savage and his wife, Cindy, a graphic designer at Madison Avenue Inc., a sign company in east Columbia. In the past, Cindy Murray has created stickers for firefighters' helmets with their names and companies in reflective materials to enable them to know who's who when they are in the "thick of things," Dylan Murray said.

"I went back to work a couple of days after Sept. 11 and asked Cindy if she could make American flag stickers about the size of business cards to put on our helmets," Dylan Murray said.

His wife wanted to do more than make small flags. "I put the American flag through the letters "FDNY" to see how [the firefighters] would like it," she said.

The firefighters liked them so much that Joseph Herr, chief of the Howard County Fire Department, approved the stickers - in a larger size - for all the frontline emergency vehicles in the department. The logos were placed on every first-line fire engine, pumper trucks and ambulances. They also can be seen on firefighters' helmets.

Madison Avenue Inc. donated about 1,000 decals to the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, and the rest were sold to the department at cost, Cindy Murray said.

Howard County is not the only place the stickers can be seen. Some equipment in New York bears the decals. During a trip to New York to pay respects to fallen firefighters, Capt. Mark Richards, also of Savage Station 6, gave about 200 stickers to New York units.

The decals also adorn emergency vehicles at the Mount Laurel Fire Department in Burlington County, New Jersey. William Dukes, chief of the Mount Laurel department, saw the decals while he was working for the Fallen Firefighters Foundation in New York a few days after the attacks.

"We were there helping families fill out paperwork, get transportation, anything they needed, including getting bunting for the fire stations," Dukes said. "My department wanted American flags on their helmets; they wanted everything in the world. I said, `Hold on, we're a fire department - we have to do something uniformly.'

"We were working in seven-day shifts," he said. "We were relieved by a couple of people from Howard County. I saw the stickers on their helmets. I thought it was really classy. I wanted something humble to commemorate the fallen firefighters."

One of the people to relieve Dukes was Capt. Steve Watts of Savage Station 6. Watts put Dukes in touch with the Murrays.

"I ordered one for every department member's helmet and all the vehicles," Dukes said. "I'm sure we'll be placing another order. One of the firefighter's wives asked for one for her car.

"It's the least we can do," Dukes added. "We lost 343 [FDNY] family members."

In Howard County, the stickers are a way to show support for fellow firefighters, said Raymond Faith, deputy chief of the Howard County Fire Department. The stickers will remain indefinitely, he said.

Good chemistry

Children ages 6 and older are invited to enjoy a presentation called "Chemistry Magic" at 4 p.m. today at the east Columbia library. The program, presented by the Atholton High School Chemistry Club, will include demonstrations of "chemiluminescence" and "elephant toothpaste."

The program is free, but registration is required.

Information: 410-313-7730.

Talented young artists

Congratulations to three Stevens Forest Elementary School children whose artwork is on display in First Encounters: Students' Responses to Memorable Meetings, an exhibition at Howard County Center for the Arts, 8510 High Ridge Road, Ellicott City.

You can see the works of fifth-graders Sean Dyer, Reece Oplinger and James LoPresto through April 21.

Oakland Mills bull roast

The Scorpion Boosters Club of Oakland Mills High School will hold a bull roast from 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. April 13 in the Great Room at Savage Mill. The adult-only evening will include dinner, music, dancing, a silent action, games and prizes.

The group is accepting donations for items or services for the silent auction. Tickets are $35. Proceeds will benefit student programs and activities.

Donations: 301-596-7007.

Information: 410-381-8379.

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