Rock Hall’s new engine dedicated to Middleton
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.
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.
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.