Rock Hall’s new en­gine ded­i­cated to Middleton

Kent County News - - FRONT PAGE - By JACK RODGERS jrodgers@thekent­coun­tynews.com

ROCK HALL — The Rock Hall Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany has pur­chased two new pieces of emer­gency equip­ment, a fire en­gine and power lift stretcher. The equip­ment was pur­chased with funds from the RHVFC’s an­nual events. Brian Jones, who is Rock Hall’s mayor and the fire com­pany’s pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer, said the fire com­pany has not pur­chased a new en­gine since 1997, due to the $3.5 mil­lion mort­gage the com­pany has been pay­ing down since 2006. Now, 12 years later, the mort­gage has been re­duced to $1.2 mil­lion, Jones said, which gives the fire com­pany an op­por­tu­nity to pur­chase new equip­ment. The truck, En­gine 7, is ded­i­cated to the me­mory of Jack Middleton Jr. of Rock Hall — an hon­orary life mem­ber of the RHVFC who passed away sud­denly in Fe­bru­ary. Mike Pin­der, chief of the RHVFC, said the cost of the en­gine was about $419,000, not in­clud­ing add-ons to the ve­hi­cle. Pin­der has been the depart­ment’s chief for three years. In to­tal, the RHVFC paid about $440,000 for the ve­hi­cle, he said. Pin­der said the ve­hi­cle, a 2017 Spar­tan, has a 3,500 gal­lons por­ta­ble wa­ter tank that can be dropped off at a spe­cific lo­ca­tion. Pin­der said the en­gine it­self car­ries around 3,000 gal­lons when at ca­pac­ity. Pin­der said other at­tach­ments in­cluded a gen­er­a­tor, which is used for tools and other equip­ment. The Emer­gency Ser­vices Depart­ment pur­chased an au­to­matic stretcher to be in­stalled on one of two am­bu­lances at the RHVFD. The stretcher, made by Power Load, can hold up to 750 pounds. It is op­er­ated by an au­to­matic hy­draulic sys­tem, which ex­tends wheels up and down at the press of a but­ton. Also in­cluded in the sys­tem is a Power Load

fas­ten­ing sys­tem, which is mounted to the floor of the am­bu­lance. The fas­ten­ing sys­tem locks the stretcher into place while the am­bu­lance is in mo­tion. Jones said he had re­sponded to calls in the am­bu­lance with one ad­di­tional para­medic and that lift­ing any­one in a stretcher with­out as­sis­tance is a chal­lenge. Andy Glenn, EMS as­sis­tant chief, said in a time where vol­un­teerism is di­min­ish­ing in the lo­cal com­mu­nity, hav­ing a sys­tem that can be op­er­ated by one per­son is im­por­tant. “We need vol­un­teers to op­er­ate,” Glenn said. “We’re 100 per­cent vol­un­teer and it’s not just Rock Hall.” Jones said the RHVFC has spo­radic times where mem­ber­ship boosts, but over­all, there has been a de­cline in vol­un­teers. This is partly be­cause peo­ple are less avail­able to ded­i­cate their time dur­ing the day, due to their jobs, Jones said. Some Rock Hall em­ploy­ers still al­low vol­un­teers to leave dur­ing work to re­spond to emer­gen­cies, Jones said. Jones said hon­or­ing vol­un­teers is im­por­tant, es­pe­cially for an or­ga­ni­za­tion de­pen­dent on them. Jones said some mem­bers can trace their in­volve­ment with the RHVFC back for gen­er­a­tions. “I have been vol­un­teer­ing with the Rock Hall Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany for over 16 years. It has given me a greater ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the mem­bers who started the com­pany in 1927 and the vol­un­teers who ex­ist to­day,” Jones said.

PHOTO BY JACK RODGERS

Chief Mike Pin­der, left, stands with Mayor Brian Jones in front of one of the Rock Hall Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany’s new­est ad­di­tions — En­gine 7. The truck has been ded­i­cated to the me­mory of Jack Middleton Jr., an hon­orary life mem­ber of the RHVFC.

PHOTO BY JACK RODGERS

Brian Jones, a mem­ber of the Rock Hall Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany and the mayor of Rock Hall, and EMS As­sis­tant Chief Andy Glenn, right, are pic­tured with the fire com­pany’s new au­to­matic stretcher.

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