Starkey inducted into MSFA Hall of Fame
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.
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.
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.”