The Calvert County Fire & Rescue Association held their annual Memorial Service Saturday, October 26, at the Calvert County Fallen Fighters Memorial. Calvert County is the only county in Maryland to have fire, rescue and emergency medical services run by volunteers. The monument, located at the Chesapeake Highlands Memorial Gardens on Broomes Island Road, is a large granite marker, flanked by the American Flag, and flags of Maryland and Calvert County. It lists the names of Calvert County’s firefighters and rescue squad personnel that have fallen in the line of duty.
Driving into the memorial gardens, you were awed by the large American Flag that hung between ladder trucks from Solomons Volunteer Rescue Squad & Fire Department and Dunkirk Volunteer Rescue Squad. Firefighters and rescue squad personnel, dressed in their uniforms, with their families and guests gathered at the memorial.
Charlie Hanko and Larry Patin, both Chaplins for the organization, began the service with an invocation. The stillness and beauty of the location provided a calm feeling.
A large lamp sat on a table. Hanko invited Chief J.W. “Billy” Freesland III to light the memorial candle. Chief Freesland is member of the Calvert County Hall of Fame and the Calvert County Volunteer Fire Rescue and EMS Association Hall of Fame. This lamp will soon be installed at the site, thanks to Gott Oil Company who is working with Hanko to provide an eternal flame.
The Southern Maryland Firemen’s Association Honor Guard provided the Presentation of Colors. After the raising of the American Flag, the group stood to say the Pledge of Allegiance.
Larry Patin gave the memorial service message. He talked about each of the people that would be remembered, and “he remembered” providing insights into each of the six people to be honored. Family members and fire department members were then called to place memorial flowers in a “fire department boot.”
Fire, Rescue and EMS personnel who have died in the line of duty are:
- Larry Cox, North Beach Volunteer Fire Department, last call April 7, 1070
- Donald A. Bowen, Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department, last call January 12, 1980
- W. David Gott, Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department, last call December 9, 1988
- Patricia A. Osburn, North Beach Volunteer Fire Department, last call May 26, 2018
Fallen members remembered this year were:
- Samuel “Sammy: Isenberg, a 38-year lifetime member of North Beach Volunteer Fire Department and charter member of Calvert Advanced Life Support.
- William “Butch” Jenkins, Jr., a 48-year member of North Beach Volunteer Fire Department, past president of the Southern Maryland Volunteer Fireman’s Association.
- Elizabeth “Betty” Lankford, a devoted member of the Third Alarm Auxiliary of Solomons Volunteer Rescue Squad and Fire Department, where she served as the treasurer, secretary and president.
- Robert Fulton Sealey, Charter Member of the Solomons Volunteer Rescue Squad & Fire Department, the first volunteer service established in Calvert County, where he held many leadership roles during his 60 plus years of volunteerism.
- Annabelle Rebecca Morrison, who with her husband, Ed, were founding members of the Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department.
- Barbara A. Stinnett, former Calvert County Commissioner, served on the Calvert County Fire and Rescue Commission, was honorary member of the Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department, and a friend to all Fire and Rescue Squads in Calvert County.
In the background Piper Jeff Herbert played Amazing Grace. Following the closing benediction, bugler Chuck Pembleton played Taps.
Hanko thanked all the departments in Calvert County for participating. He also thanked the Hollywood Volunteer Fire Department for providing fill-in coverage during the event. Members of the Calvert County Fire & Rescue Association are:
- North Beach Volunteer Fire Department, Company 1
- Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department, Company 2
- Solomons Volunteer Rescue Squad & Fire Department, Company 3
- Prince Frederick Volunteer Rescue Squad, Company 4
- Dunkirk Volunteer Fire Department, Company 5
- Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad, Company 6
- St. Leonard Volunteer Fire Department & Rescue Squad, Company 7
- Calvert Advance Life Support, Company 10
- Calvert County Rescue Dive Team, Company 12
Throughout the month of October, fire and rescue squads throughout Calvert County have held open houses promoting this year’s National Fire Protection Association theme, “Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and Practice your Escape.” The goal is to teach children and adults how to stay safe in case of a fire. Please support Calvert County’s all volunteer fire and rescue departments. The life they save may just be yours.
“Firemen never die, they just burn forever in the hearts of the people whose lives they saved”. – Susan Diane Murphree
Please enjoy the picture gallery below.
Joyce Stinnett Baki