Starkey in­ducted into MSFA Hall of Fame

Record Observer - - Front Page - By DAN TABLER Con­tribut­ing Writer

OCEAN CITY — A long-time ac­tive mem­ber of the Good­will Fire Com­pany In Centreville was in­ducted into the Mary­land State Fire­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion Hall of Fame dur­ing the 124th an­nual con­ven­tion held last week in Ocean City.

Ralph Starkey, a for­mer chief and long-time as­sis­tant trea­surer of the com­pany, was one of 10 vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers from around the state to be hon­ored at the con­ven­tion meet­ings held in the re­sort city’s Con­ven­tion Hall, June 18-24.

Starkey joined the fire com­pany in 1957 and may be the only mem­ber to have been elected to ev­ery po­si­tion over the years, and con­tin­ues to at­tend meet­ings and be ac­tive in fundrais­ers.

He has also been in­ducted into the Hall of Fame of the Kent and Queen Anne’s Fire­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion, the East­ern Shore Fire­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion and Del-Mar-Va Fire­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion.

He served three years on the Mary­land State Fire­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion re­gional train­ing com­mit­tee and for some 25 years served as a del­e­gate to the state con­ven­tion from Good­will Fire Com­pany. In 1977 he be­came a fire in­struc­tor for the Univer­sity of Mary­land, a po­si­tion he held un­til 1995, at which time he un­der­went heart surgery which lim­ited his du­ties for the job.

He is con­sid­ered on of the com­pany’s most ded­i­cated mem­bers.

Gen­eral chair­man for the yearly event was Ron Siar­nicki, who is the state as­so­ci­a­tion’s trea­surer and a mem­ber of the United Com­mu­ni­ties Fire Com­pany on Kent Is­land.

At the joint me­mo­rial service held on June 19 for the fire­men’s as­so­ci­a­tion and the state Ladies Aux­il­iary mem­bers, mem­bers who died in the past year were rec­og­nized, county by county.

Seven of those who died in the past year and re­mem­bered from Queen Anne’s County fire units were as fol­lows: Bernard R. “Col.” Rhodes Sr., Church Hill Fire Com­pany; Dar­ren M. Rhodes, Church Hill Fire Com­pany; Jean Par­son,

Crump­ton Fire Com­pany Aux­il­iary; Ron­ald Sea­man, Sudlersville Fire Com­pany Aux­il­iary; Monte Webb, Sudlersville Fire Com­pany Aux­il­iary; Henry Niehaus, Sudlersville Fire Com­pany; and John R. Bossert III, United Com­mu­ni­ties Fire Com­pany.

A bell was tolled with the nam­ing of each per­son at the cer­e­mony.

Other Queen Anne’s fire­fight­ers in­volved in the as­so­ci­a­tion’s an­nual meet­ing were Michael Faust from Sudlersville Fire Com­pany, a mem­ber of the state ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, and Phil Hur­lock, of Church Hill Fire Com­pany, a past pres­i­dent of the state as­so­ci­a­tion.

A mas­sive pa­rade of fire equip­ment, bands and march­ing units was held dur­ing the af­ter­noon of June 22.

A Mack Truck Rally of vin­tage fire ap­pa­ra­tus built by the Mack com­pany was on dis­play at the Con­ven­tion Cen­ter park­ing lot. One of the trucks viewed by ev­ery­one was the 1946 truck, still in op­er­a­tion by the Sudlersville Fire Com­pany.

PHOTO BY DAN TABLER

Good­will Fire Com­pany mem­ber and a long-time as­sis­tant trea­surer and chief, Ralph Starkey, right, was in­ducted into the Mary­land State Fire­men’s As­so­ci­a­tion Hall of Fame dur­ing last week’s con­ven­tion in Ocean City. He is stand­ing with an­other fire com­pany mem­ber, Jeremy Davis, fol­low­ing the cer­e­mony.

PHOTO BY DAN TABLER

Butch Kauf­man from Good­will Fire Com­pany and a del­e­gate to the state fire­men’s con­ven­tion in Ocean City last week, looks over the 1948 Mack fire en­gine owned by the Sudlersville Fire Com­pany that was on view with other vin­tage Mack fire ap­pa­ra­tus at the O.C. Con­ven­tion Hall. The Sudlersville fire com­pany mem­bers who drove the truck down said “it can still pump wa­ter.”

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