EMS group re-elects all five of its officers

May 27, 2007|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Sun Reporter

The Carroll County Volunteer Emergency Services Association re-elected all five executive officers for the first time in its history at its annual convention on May 19.

Re-elected were: Richard Green Sr., president, Gamber & Community Volunteer Fire Company; Mark Bilger, first vice president, Hampstead Volunteer Fire Department; Doug Alexander, second vice president, Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company; Dennis Brothers, treasurer, Gamber; and Ralph Dull, secretary, Manchester Volunteer Fire Department.

The fire companies, organized in 1923 as the Carroll County Volunteer Firemen's Association, were set up to rotate officers among the different fire companies each year.

The fire chiefs and Emergency Medical Services volunteers had their own group, with separate officers, under the auspices of the Volunteer Firemen's Association.

At the 2004 convention, delegates from the 14 fire companies voted to combine the firefighters, fire chiefs and EMS groups into one unit, the CCVESA. The new constitution and bylaws allow for the re-election of officers.

"It gives continuity," said Green after the May 19 convention business meeting, hosted by the Gamber fire company. "It takes a year to learn this job, and now we know the job, we can continue what we started."

Two major initiatives the association is working on are the proposed new training facility in Linwood and a reorganization of the emergency medical services system.

The firefighters are waiting for the county to conduct tests on a 40-acre property in the small village located between New Windsor and Union Bridge to see if the center can be built there, and if so, move forward with the project.

E. Richard Baker Jr., chairman of the Future EMS Committee, said the group also is looking at "how to continue to do business in the future through a partnership with the county so when the citizens call for an ambulance, we can make sure an ambulance comes to their door."

The commissioners partially fund round-the-clock paid EMS personnel in most of the stations in an effort to make sure the ambulances get out on calls.

But staffing and funding continue to be problems, and the association's goal, Baker said, "is to give the best EMS service."

The group also is working on increases and funding for the Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) that provides benefits to volunteers who have 25 years of service or more.

The county partially funded the association's request for increases for the fiscal 2008 year, and put an additional $1 million in the service program fund, Green said.

Another project the group has started is bulk purchasing of turnout gear for firefighters.

"We're continuing to save money on bulk purchasing, starting with the gear," Green said. "We'll continue with hose, cleaning and medical supplies, stuff we all use. The more we can consolidate as a group, the cheaper we can get it."

The daylong convention included lunch, a memorial service to honor members who died in the past year, a business meeting, social hour, banquet and awards.

The association presented certificates and plaques of appreciation to former county commissioner Perry Jones and retired Emergency Management planner Bill Martin.

Plaques also went to Libby Luebberman, former chair of the EMS Operations Committee, and Jeff Alexander, Fire/Rescue Operations Committee chair, for their service to the organization.

The Ladies Auxiliary to the association also held its annual convention and elected new officers.

New auxiliary officers are: June Black, president, Sykesville-Freedom District Fire Department; Barbara Zepp, first vice president, Winfield Community Volunteer Fire Department; Kim Thomas, second vice president, Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company; Dorothy Rue, secretary, New Windsor Fire & Hose Company No. 1; Kristina Rogers, treasurer, Harney Volunteer Fire Company; Wanda Schaeffer, historian, Reese & Community Volunteer Fire Company; and Janet Barnes, chaplain, Winfield.

ellie.baublitz@baltsun.com

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