MVFC Honors Howard Fox
The McConnellsburg Volunteer Fire Co., in a somber moment on Saturday evening, bestowed its highest honor on a critically ill brother by naming Howard Fox of McConnellsburg as its 2009 “Fireman of the Year.”
Fox, who was unable to attend the annual banquet, has been a member of the company for more than 10 years and has served as the company’s engineer. In a very emotional ceremony, his award was accepted by his son, Jason, also a company member. Both Jason and Fox’s wife, Sue, told members that although they had hoped to bring Howard to the awards banquet, his condition has worsened and he was unable to attend. He has been battling cancer for the past several months, and his condition has steadily deteriorated.
Votes for the company’s Fireman of the Year are cast only by former firemen of the year.
Nearly 200 members and invited guests attended the company’s 48th annual banquet held at the American Legion in Mc- Connellsburg.
During the evening’s program, other awards presented included:
Chief’s Award to Donna Welsh presented by “Pete” Lynch for her work in grant writing for the company.Welsh recently secured a $132,000 grant for MVFC.
EMT of the Year award to Ethel Buterbaugh Whittington.
Ambulance Chief’s Award was given to Randy Zeger by Pete Lynch in recognition of his 10 years with the ALS as ALS chief – from the inception of the service to the present time.
50-year member awards were given to George Bivens, Dr. Arnon Kaplan, James Pittman, Norman E. Mellott and Mack Shaffer.
Lee Rager presented an award to Pete Lynch on behalf of the fire police for Lynch’s support of the fire police organization.
Rager also presented mutual aid awards to the Needmore, Hustontown and the Mercersburg, Montgomery and Peters Township fire companies.
A memorial service presided over by Dreama Everts and Tom Blue was held for one life member who passed away in 2009. The fireman remembered Carrie Carbaugh Crone.
Fire Chief Pete Lynch reported that the company responded to more than 300 calls in 2009 – twice as many as in 2008 and a record-setting number for the company. Calls included fires (82); rescue/EMS (69); false alarm and false calls (21); hazmat (10); service calls (23); cancelled in route (57); severe weather (5); and special incident (47). Trucks responded most frequently to McConnellsburg Borough (95), Ayr Township (58), Todd (43), Licking Creek (21) and mutual aid (95).
Lynch reported that an average of 13 persons responded per call. He also noted that in 2009, the company, including both the firefighting and the ambulance divisions, responded to an average of four calls per day.
The top responders (with number of responses in parentheses) were: Cody Lynch (225), Pete Lynch (192), Roger Everts (173), Jamie Connelly (168), Tom Blue (167), John Seville (150), Greg Connelly (148), Jeff Harr (142), Chip Keebaugh (133) and Joe Rosenberry (128). Awards were also given to the five Sparkies and eight junior member who collectively logged 1,073 hours of work for the company.
Lynch will serve as chief again in 2010 with Jeff Harr (deputy chief), Roger Everts (1st assistant chief) and Ed Stonecipher (2nd assistant chief), Mike Chilcote, Eric Spriggs and Rodney Buterbaugh Sr. (engine captains), David Hoover III, Gary Peck and Gerald Peck (lieutenants), Howard Fox (engineer), Jason Fox and Bill Penwell (assistant engineers) and Norman Everts Jr. (junior advisor).
Company directors include: Joe Harris, Norman Everts Jr., Bob Vores and Pete Lynch. Mont Chamberlain, Melvin Hann and Mike Chilcote serve as trustees of the relief association, while David Hoover III, Mont Chamberlain, Dreama Everts, Roger Everts and Jason Fox serve as ambulance club directors.
Ambulance chief’s report
Joe Harris and Dreama Everts gave the company’s ambulance report. The company’s ambulances responded to 965 calls in 2009. They included: 352 medical emergencies; 355 interfacility; 74 falls; 112 vehicular; 2 shootings; 8 other trauma; 5 overdose, 4 stab- bings; 2 bicycle; 5 assaults and 48 other. .
Emergency vehicles traveled 45,303 miles with 51 different responders answering at least one call. The ambulance responded to calls in Ayr (146), Belfast (45), Bethel (3), Brush Creek (4), Dublin (12), Licking Creek (50), McConnellsburg Borough (180), Todd (377), Union (1), Thompson (7), Taylor (4), Huntingdon (2), Franklin County (103) and 31 other calls.
Harris recognized the Top Ten Responders: Cody Lynch, EMT (418), Joe Harris EMT (233), Robert McQuade, drvr.(211), Felecia Harris, EMT (183), Melvin Hann, EMT (144), Chip Keebaugh, EMT (144), Lauren Beaston, EMT (111), Trent Clugston, EMT (100), Joe Rosenberry, drvr. (94) and T J Bishop, drvr. (60).
Joe Harris will serve as the ambulance chief in 2010, while Randy Zeger will continue as ALS chief. Cody Lynch will serve as deputy ambulance chief, and ambulance support officers include Felecia Harris, Chip Keebaugh, Shannon Foster and Robert McQuade.
Advanced life support (ALS)
Advanced life support was provided to the area once again in 2009 by Medic 56. The ALS unit responded to 464 calls in Fulton County and surrounding areas.
The calls included: medical emergencies (224), auto accidents (15), trauma (28), interfacility transports (187), fall victims (5) and other (5).
Basic life support units assisted included: McConnellsburg Volunteer Fire Co. (337), Needmore Volunteer Fire Co. (51), Mercersburg, Montgomery, Peter & Warren VFC (57), Hustontown (6), Metal Township VFC (2), Hancock Rescue Squad (1), Fannett Metal (8) and St. Thomas. Fire police report
Fire police officers for 2010 include: Lee Rager (captain), Bob Thomas (1st lieutenant) and Bill Penwell (sergeant).
Ladies auxiliary report
President Dora Lynch presented a check for $5,000 to company president Jeff Harr to be used for the building fund. Lynch reported the auxiliary served nine banquets, two luncheons and two post-funeral meals during 2009. She also noted that among the six officers, there are 162 years of experience with the auxiliary. The officers include Lynch as president, Lou Ramsey as vice president, Mae Mann as recording secretary, Peg Kerlin as financial secretary, Dianne Stenger as treasurer, and Felecia Harris as chaplain.
Incoming company President Jeff Harr reported on the past year’s activities and told those in attendance that an ambulance had been replaced during the year, and he also said that in spite of the tough economic situation, the community has continued to support the fire company and stressed the appreciation of the company for all donations.
Harr will serve as president in 2010, with Rodney Buterbaugh Sr. as vice president, Cindy Lynch as secretary, Bonnie Buterbaugh as assistant secretary, Diane Harr as treasurer, Cody Lynch as financial secretary, Dreama Everts as chaplain and Dora Lynch as assistant chaplain..
Harr also received a donation of $9,000 from the company’s junior members, with $6,000 earmarked for the building fund and $3,000 for general fund. .
Elected officials in attendance at Saturday night’s banquet included; county commissioners Bonnie Mellott Keefer, David R. Hoover II and Craig Cutchall; Sheriff Keith Stains; and Mc- Connellsburg Mayor Mike Chilcote.