Carroll lauds firefighters at its 166th birthday

Historical society event is today in Westminster

January 19, 2003|By Emily Benson | Emily Benson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

As Carroll County celebrates its birthday today, the Westminster Volunteer Fire Department will display a modern ladder truck outside the party and antique helmets inside. The Reese & Community Volunteer Fire Company will screen a video that features four still-active volunteers who were around when the company was formed a half-century ago.

The Reese firefighters will also show off a 1967 brush truck, the oldest piece owned by the department. It is still used to put out fires.

The Historical Society of Carroll County traditionally sponsors a celebration on Jan. 19 to mark the date in 1837 on which the county, formed from the western part of Baltimore County and the eastern part of Frederick County, was incorporated.

For the county's 166th birthday, the society chose to honor county firefighters.

"These men and women donate lives," said Keith R. Bryan, director of development for the historical society. "They give a lot back to the community."

The society had hoped to honor the firefighters at last year's celebration, in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks of 2001. But the celebration was snowed out.

This year's affair is scheduled for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Best Western Conference Center in Westminster.

Doug Bostian, president of the Carroll County Volunteer Firemen's Association, and Michael Walsh, chairman of the historical society's board of trustees, are scheduled to speak.

Entertainment will be provided by the Westminster Municipal Band.

Admission is free, and the public is invited.

Equipment and artifacts from at least six of the county's volunteer fire companies will be displayed, Bryan said. Larger equipment, such as fire engines and ambulances, will be parked outside. Smaller items, and information on the companies, will be displayed inside.

"We're not looking for thanks, but it's nice to have people recognize that we were an intricate part of the county's history," said Jerry Dayton, assistant chief of the Reese company.

To ensure that another year doesn't go by before the firefighters are honored, organizers have scheduled a snow date: Jan. 26.

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