1902: The Fire Department is organized
Citizens of Lansdowne met at the home of Otto Haberkorn on Feb. 14, 1902, after a fire destroyed the home of Mr. & Mrs. Foger on 4th Ave near Baltimore Ave. The fire was just a small attic fire when the fire department, in Mt. Winans was notified. Because of the heavy snow the day before the horses could not pull Gellermans hill, which at that time was in Baltimore County.
Nineteen other area homes had burned down before this incident, that residents felt could have been saved if the community had its own fire department.
It was at this meeting that the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Association was formed. Ground was donated by Charles W. and Mary Hull — lots #135 and 136 in Joshua (on Lavern Ave.) A building was erected that same year and all bills satisfied by November of 1902. The building was a wood frame structure with a brick foundation.
FOUNDERS: MARTIN PAULSON---FIRST PRESIDENT CHARLES W. HULL--FIRST SECRETARY JACOB REINHARDT J.G. HOFFMAN WILLIAM SINKENBRING FOUNDERS: BOARD OF DIRECTORS LEWIS REESER JOHN BEES JOSEPH BLANK OTTO HABERKORN ADAM A.H. REIMAN HERMAN MEYER CHRISTIAN PETERSON
SPECIFICATIONS OF THE ORIGINAL BUILDING OF THE LANSDOWNE VOLUNTEER FIRE ASSOCIATION, BALTIMORE COUNTY MARYLAND.
Said building to be one story 16′ x 40′, 11′
- Clear foundation
- Walls to be 9″ thick and of good arch brick and layed in good mortar.
- There is to be a center wall in the foundation with 4″ x 6″ girders under the center force.
- The sills to be 4″ x 6″ and joist 2 1/2″ x 8″.
- Corner post to be 4″ x 4″ standing, 2″ x 4″ ceiling force, 2″ x 6″ first floor joist, 24″ to center.
- Weatherboard to be #2 double o.g.
- Rafters 2″ x 4″ and sheathed by 4/4″.
- Roof to be of good charcoal, leaded tin, 3 cleats to the sheet and to have a good coat of paint.
- The inside of said building to be wainscoated, all inside work to be framed and hand oiled, all outside work to have two coats of good paint.
- There are to be two windows in the rear of the building 12″ x 32″
- The door in the center 2′ 6′ x 6′ 8″, W / 12″ transdom.
- Two windows in the engine room, one on each side 12″ x 32″.
- There will be a 6′ folding door between the engine room and back room as shown in the plans, also double doors in the front 5′ x 8′ as shown in the plans.
- The floor of said building is to be #2 4/4″ flooring.
- Bell tower on the front to be of the size shown on the plans.
- Also good terra-cotta flue for the stove in the back room.
- All sashes in windows to be on weights and furnished with blinds.
- Paper under the tin roof.
We Hereby agree with the Fire Chief of the Volunteer Fire Association of Lansdowne to furnish all the materials necessary for and to build the above specified building for the sum of $450.00 money to be paid in advance to us as work progresses, when the building is completed and accepted, and all our bills for materials satisfied, we are to receive the remaining $450.00
SIGNED BY : MARTIN A. K. PAULSON PRESIDENT L.V.F.D. C. PETERSON H. MEYERS LEWIS REESER & SONS G.F. MEYERS BUILDERS
In 1907 the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Association #1 Incorporated was among the original fourteen companies to form the Baltimore County Volunteer Firemens Association Inc.
On March 30,1908 Lansdowne Vol. Fire Asso. #1 Inc. became a member of the Maryland State Firemens Association.
We have no records of our minutes until Nov. 1909.
Instead the minutes from 1909 start:
A letter of thanks was sent to Mr. Charles Hull for his donation of a trowel to be used in laying the cornerstone of the new building. After gathering estimates for months it was decided to repair the present building and build some badly needed water tanks.
A fire at the home of Mr. Reil on Hammonds Ferry Rd. caused damage of $35.00. The estimate of salvage was $2,000.00.
A band was started in the fall of 1909 to entice new and younger men to join the organization. It became a very successful endeavor.
The annual Bull & Oyster Roast held at Haberkorn’s Park was a success and a profit of $19.21 was made.
In December the secretary of the association was instructed to write a letter of regret to Mr. Keiss for our failure to respond to a fire at his house. This failure occurred through a mistake on the part of one of our members.
A Profit of .52 was made on the smoker held on March 10th 1910.
As a result of the meeting held July 26, 1910 $10.00 was advanced to the crab feast chairman for the up coming crab feast.
In August of 1910 a committee was appointed to investigate securing telephone service for the community of Lansdowne and for the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Association. Members went house to house through out the community collecting names and addresses of those who would subscribe to the service, if enough names could be obtained telephone service would be extended to Lansdowne.
A request from Mrs. Rulh asking if a member could occasionally stay with Dr. Ruhl(our dept. surgeon), who was seriously ill. She was having difficulty caring for him alone. Seven members immediately volunteered to take turns staying with him at night.
The Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Association held its first examination for officers on July 26, 1911.
It was around this time while fighting a fire at the home of Mr. Wilson, on Hammonds Ferry Rd, a hose was placed down a well to pump water on the fire. Unbeknown to the fire fighters Mr. Wilson had turned his well into a cesspool. On-lookers all shouted PHEW!
At the regular meeting of the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Association held May,22, 1912. The 10th Anniversary of the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Association was celebrated.
President John Lerner introduced Chief Jacob Reinhardt who spoke of the many hardship the organization had undergone. Judge Charles Hull congratulated the association on its progress and pledged his earnest support for still greater success.
The President then introduced one of our original promoters and still arden supporters, J.G. Hoffman, who express his admiration for the interest the ladies were taking in this association. The speakers were given a standing ovation for there past and present assistance.
We have no record of the type of alarm system the association began with, but alarm systems in most small towns and rural areas, a person seeing a fire or smelling smoke would hit a gong or bell with a hammer. The number of strokes and their sequence would be a code signaling where fire fighters shoud respond.
Our first telegraph alarm system started in 1911 was completed in 1913 went into operation in Lansdowne. A single wire radiating from a central alarm point through the neighborhood and returning to this central alarm point. This wire was attached to a numbered boxes that easily were accessible to the public. A tower was erected in February of 1912 to house the striker for this system. It was donated by Mr. Pochman and Sons, the contractors who built it. Alarm boxes contained a heavy clock-type spring. It was tripped by a person pulling the hook on the front of the box. The spring actuated a cam and switch arrangement that open and closed the alarm circuit in a predetermined sequence corresponding with the number on the front of the box. For example 33 would be 3 short strokes a pause and three more strokes followed by a longer pause. This would be repeated up to four times, ringing a bell and punching out a code on a tape at the same time. To determined the location of the box the dispatcher would count the bells and compare them with the numbers punches in the tape. He would them notify the station to respond to that location. This whole process took less than one minute. This system could operate several day on special batteries if the electric went out.
At a meeting held January 8, 1913 new officers were elected. Before the election was held President Lerner instructed the secretary to read the number of meetings attended and absent of each and every officer for the past year, this was a very spirited meeting.
At this same meeting a fee of .30 per night was established for the use of the engine house for meetings by the band and other community organizations.
In February of 1913 a hose wagon was added to the equipment owned by the Lansdowne Fire Association. it was a hand drawn wagon that could be converted for horse drawn if horses were available.
At a meeting held in March 1913 the Chief commended the men on their quick work at the Haberkorn fire, he also mention their areas of weakness.
A hall was erected in 1913. Prices were established for the rental of this new hall at the Dec. meeting in 1913.
The hall and basement 7P.M – midnight — $8.00 per night $15.00 for two nights. The upper hall for dancing 7 p.m.- 1 P.M –$5.00 per night Daytime use of the hall — $3.00 or $1.50 for the first hour and .50 for each additional hour until 6 p.m. when evening rates would be in effect. The janitor would be paid .50 per engagement.
The new furnace to heat the new hall was requested and approved November 13th, 1913. The cost was $25.00. The association resolved to borrow $1,500 from Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Weber. to pay outstanding bills incurred in or about the building of the Lansdowne Fire Hall. The loan to be paid 5 years after said date, at 6% annum, payable semi-annually.
In the spring of 1914 the association purchased a motion picture projector. This investment earned appox. $20.00 per month for the association and enabled the community to enjoy this wonderful invention, the movies without having to take a train into the Columbia Movie Theater on Washington Blvd. near Scott St.
In May of 1915, a bus was secured gratis to take members of the band through the streets of Baltimore in an effort to advertise the Firemen’s Convention to be held in Lansdowne on May 5th. A Parade opened the convention with the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Department Band leading the way. After the parade, a photograph of the membership was taken.
There are references in the minutes from 1917 that the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Association offered its services to the governor for guard duty. There are also mentions of the hall being offered to the state for the use of the guard. Members attended a meeting at the City Bank pertaining to the Guard, also noting the most of the young men would soon be going into the service of the U. S. Government for duty and that they would be carried on the rolls as honorary members until they returned to the association. Members already serving in the military were George Reinhardt, Alfred Habernagle, Marion Summerville and Herbert Gochnauer Jr.
A Special meeting called in 1921, by the Vice-President was to decide what type of Wedding gift we would purchase for our President John Herbert Gochnauer. The membership decided that money would be the best gift.
The first telephone was installed in April of 1921. Cards with the number Lans 88 R were sent to all residents so they would be able to call in an emergency.
A central heating plant was installed in Sept. of 1921 and the old stove previously used was returned to Mr. Sinkenbrink with many thanks.
Our first gasoline engine was purchased in 1922 for the sum of $763.65. It was a Model T Ford. The offices of mechanic and assistant mechanic were created. This engine was delivered in the rain, since there was no roof over the “cab” another man rode along side of the driver holding an umbrella over his head.
This same year, the association started its own football team, it quickly became one of the best semi-pro teams in the state, sometimes playing before a crowd of 3,000 spectators.
Ground for an athletic field was purchased in 1925, it was located on Sulfur Spring Rd. across the RR tracks from the station on Lavern Ave. The association sometimes rented the field to other organizations for picnics, carnivals and etc. They were also able to occasionally sell the sod to the State Roads Commission.
The first automobile ever raffled by the association (1925)was won by our then Vice-President Wm. Sinkenbrink.
Dr. Frank H. Ruhl who was among the first members and an ardent supporter passed away Jan. 6th 1928. The following resolution was read into the minutes.
January 25, 1928
Resolution of the death of Frank H. Rulh, M. D.
At a meeting of the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Association #1, on Wednesday, January 24, 1928, the following resolution of the death of Me. Frank H. Rulh, MD, one of the organizers of the association was adopted:
In the fullness of his years and the ripeness of his intellectual powers, Frank H. Ruhl, one of the organizers and builders of Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Association No 1, entered into life eternal on Saturday evening, January 6, 1928.
Desiring to record its appreciation of the life and service of our late Department Surgeon, the Association inscribes this resolution its minute books. While we deeply deplore the death of our Surgeon, who for so many years guided the destinies if our company, our sorrow is mitigated by the remembrance of his useful life and his achievement. It was not by chance Dr. Ruhl rose from his first minor employment to a position in life of responsibility and distinction in the community wherein all his mature years were passed. Although of ancient lineage, he was not a child off fortune, but from his youth onward was dependent upon his own intelligence for his livelihood. He early grasped the wisdom of Ecclesiates- “Whatsoever thy hand findth to do, do it with thy might”. He was not covetous of wealth nor did he amass a notable fortune, he gloried in work well done for good works sake. Not withstanding the demands upon his powers occasioned by his business responsibilities, no man gave more, nor less ungrudgingly of his time and mind to civic affairs designed for the public good. In the administration of his business he strove to do justice and his pathway through life was strewn with innumerable acts of courtesy and kindness of which there abides no record save in the hearts of those who shared them. It may well be said of him “He had a tear for pity and a hand open as day for meeting charity”. His Christian faith was simple and profound. Into the sacred domain of his long and happy domestic life we do not enter; but to his family we tender the assurance of our sincere sympathy in their sad bereavement.
The Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Association replaced its telegraph alarm system with a telephone system in 1929. The alarm boxes are generally in the same place but the equipment in the boxes was now a telephone that would instantly connect the caller with the dispatcher. A pilot light at the Towson headquarters indicated the box location and the dispatcher would receive details from the citizen and immediately send the proper equipment, In this system the wire circuits were commercial lines, special trunks set apart from regular telephone lines.
In 1929 our gasoline engine was demolished in a collision with a candy truck. Captain Weber retrieved the bell and with his men marched home tolling the bell. Due to the very desperate need to replace this equipment and very limited funds, a bid of only $50.00 was made to purchase a horse drawn wagon from Baltimore City. Included on this wagon were two 35 gallon acid tanks, a 24 ft. extension ladder and a 14 foot roof ladder. The membership was very surprised and delighted that this very low bid was accepted.
There was a disagreement between the Lansdowne Fire association and the State Forestry Department during the early 1930’s. The membership voted not to answer any fire forest fire calls unless directed by Baltimore County Fire Department. This problem was solved when member Dorsey Hobbs was named fire warden.
The association decided it would purchase a new fire engine, after some discussion an engine in good condition would be purchased by one of the companies that was dismantling. Eventually a 1929 American La France was purchased in 1932, from Linthicum Heights station in Anne Arundel county.
Instructions from Baltimore County Captain Lottern that in fighting fires in the vicinity of the Pennsylvania Railroad water must not be used within eight foot of the railroad track because the high voltage could mean instant death.
In January of 1937 Chief George McCullough made a motion that was second by Frank Foil stating all members of the truck crew must pass an examination. The membership also decided at this meeting that the truck crew would elect its own officers.
In March of 1937 the ladies and men’s toilets were constructed on the floor level of the hall, on the east side of the engine house. You would enter the rest rooms by entering a walkway at the top of the engine room to the other side of the building. These buildings connected to the cesspool dug adjacent to the building in the vicinity of the old tower. They served their purpose and were definitely a big improvement over the old outhouses.
At their meeting on June 11, 1937 the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Association’s Board of Directors moved that flyers would be sent through-out the community to call a mass meeting of all the residents of Lansdowne. At this time a speaker would be present from the fire underwriters board to acquaint those present as to what would be the cost of their insurance if there were no fire department in the community. The meeting was set for June 29th 1937. This meeting would determined the future of the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Department. As a result of this meeting Richard Mooney was elected President. A motion was made and carried to give complete charge of the meeting to the Lans. Vol. Fire Dept. Board of Directors. On July 9, 1937, the regular meeting of the LVFD was declared an open meeting to the residents of the community to discuss the needs of the department and how best to meet them. Speakers were B, H, Shipley from Howard County, Reverend James Winter President and chaplain of the Maryland State Firemens Association, and Mrs. Mary Baker past President of the ladies auxiliary.
It was at this meeting the Lansdowne Ladies Auxiliary was declared a unit of the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Association. The Ladies were invited to attend the next meeting of the Lans. Vol. fire dept. which would be a joint meeting, on July 23.
On Feb. 10 1939 the membership voted to have heating pipes put into the engine room for the first time.
In August of 1939 the department won 50 foot of booster hose at a parade in Owings Mills.
The regular meeting of Lans. Vol. Fire Dept. to be held Oct. 10th was postponed due to members being at South Baltimore Hospital donating blood for the benefit of brother member Frank Foil. During the years of 1940 and 41 the flag was flown at half mass and floral arrangements sent in remembrance of deceased members J, B, Franklin, L, Baker, and another of our founders Jacob Reinhardt. Upon his recovery Frank Foil gave a talk on the donation of blood and how it is recorded.
Concerned about the future, because so many nations were at war, members set up a civilian defense of Lansdowne.
The members of Lansdowne taking classes at University of Maryland won a nozzle for the engine as a result of their achievements.
On August 9, 1941 Nimrod Lugenbeel, Bud Nordin, Herb Nordin,Alva Poole, and James McCann all donated blood to Emory Warner.
THE UNITED STATES WAS ATTACKED BY JAPAN DEC. 7, 1941
During the second World War many things were scarce and were rationed, sugar, meat, shoes, fuel, rubber products, canned soups and vegetables. Other items were just about impossible to purchase, anything made of metal was very difficult if not impossible to purchase. Items as pepper, cigarettes, and spices were also difficult. One must remember things like plastic, nylon and other synthetics were developed as a result of this war, and were not available to the public during the was. The production of all cars and trucks ceased. Toward the end of the was some production was allowed for emergency vehicles, but you had to apply to the War board to receive permission and they had to decide if the vehicle really was urgently needed. Most request were turned down.
Activities held by the fire fighters during the 2nd world war were subject to a franchise tax, a 20 % tax on all fund raising!
Richard Mooney was appointed defense auxiliary fireman for the 13 th district.
Three of Lansdowne’s firefighters were designated drivers. They and three officers received “black-out” cards. These cards allowed them to respond to fire calls during a black-out, without headlights of course. One man was kept at the station at all times, even when the company received a fire call, that man had to remain at his post to receive emergency messages. This created serious problems since so many men were already serving in the military. Firehouse sirens were used in war time to alert the community to emergencies such as blackouts. Our minutes however do not mention if ours was used or not.
The first blackout to occur during a meeting was in Feb. 1942. The president recessed the meeting for 59 minutes until the all clear was sounded. A letter was received from the B&O Rail Road on September 11, 1942 thanking us for the quick response to their appeal for blood transfusions for one of their injured employees. A copy of this letter was sent to the “Community Bulletin” to explain our blowing the siren.
First aid classes were held, one on bandaging was held September 15, 1942 at the casualty station.
The Lans. Vol. Fire Dept. was allotted 5 lb. each of sugar and coffee that Feb. occasionally the ration books were called back to cut allotments. A few times the men wrote to the war priority board to request increased allotments, these were usually denied.
The war Priority board did approve a new fire engine in 1945, only because of great need and the fact we have Westinghouse Defense Plant and Calvert Distillery in our district. This 1945 Seagrave cost $8,292.50 and was only in service 6 month before it needed its engine replaced. The motor had only 367 miles on it and was overhauled by Seagraves Engineer Harry Hawson at the Baltimore City Shop.
We donated the use of the fire hall to the civilian defense league, which was trying to raise money to buy Christmas gifts for the men in the military. Many of our men sent Christmas cards and gifts to our fire fighters in the military. We also adopted an orphan boy to whom we sent cards, gifts and letters.
THE FOLLOWING MEN WERE IN THE MILITARY DURING WORLD WAR TWO;
THOMAS BIDEN DELBERT WILLIAMS
DONALD COYLE EUGENE GILMORE
EARL GRACE RAYMOND YOUNG
EDWARD GRACE RAYMOND FRITZWATER
WILLIAM NEVINS JOHN McCANN
LEROY FINK IRWIN NORDIN
VERNON FINK ALVA POOLE
NICHOLAS JORDAN REV. H.M. PAYNE
JOHN HAROLD EDWARD HOFFMAN
WILBER HARRY WALTER W. ROBINSON
CHARLES HARRY VERNON ROBERSON
JAMES HAMER KENNITH RITZ
PAUL HOFFMAN 2nd FRANK SMITH
KENNITH RIENHARDT FRED SCHATZLLOUGH
EDWARD KROUGER DR. L.A. WHEELER
CHARLES KOLHAUS JOSEPJ WICKLESS
PAUL LEWIS GORDON WICKLESS
WEBSTER MILLER JOSEPH WUNDER
DONALD MILLER THOMAS POTTER
ROBERT McCANN HOWARD OLVER
JAMES McCORMACK THOMAS OLVER
ROBERT GORDON IRVIN PENNELL
GENE LATHAM ROLAND HOPKINS
FREDRIDK MILES VICTOR SCHMINKE
FRANK POTTER JR. WILLIAM WOOLFORD
ROBERT TOWSEND HERBERT NORDIN
Kennith Reinhardt was killed in action April 12, 1945. One month later William Sinkenbring Jr. was killed in the Battle of the Bulge. Mr. Sinkenbring was made an honorary member after his death, because he was a member of our band and because and often work department affairs.
Through out the war years there are several mentions of the support the ladies auxiliary had given the department. On such entry is as follows: “We are impressed with the splendid cooperation and financial assistance we receive from the ladies auxiliary. we believe them to be the best in the state.”
A letter was received from St. Frances Convent praising the quick action of Lansdowne fire fighters in extinguishing the fire at their convert in Feb. of 1945.
In 1946 our original bell was cracked during the jubilant celebration of V.J. Day (victory over Japan). In late June a parade and dinner were held for the returning veterans.
In 1947 our Chief George McCullogh was invited to the White House for a three day conference of fire prevention. We believe it is the first time a volunteer chief has been so honored.
Our meeting of December 10, 1948 was recessed for 15 minutes so members could pay their last respects to William Sinkenbring, who’s body lay in state across the street at the Lutheran church.
In 1949 we had Mr. Ohler pipe us into the new sewage system installed in Lansdowne. It was truly a big improvement over the cesspools. Pappy Ohler charged the department only $540.00 for all the work he did because he was a member.
At a meeting on March 11,1949, Chief George Mccullough thanked the 19 men who had responded to the fire at he Baltimore Tourist camp. He noted time of response was now being taken on each alarm and our time was 6 minutes.
The members at Lansdowne wanted to purchase a two-way radio unit. After checking into this for several months a motion was passed to give Chief Cockey of Baltimore County the authority to purchase a mobile radio receiver, a two-way unit, and a house receiver with a generator for our company.
Lansdowne fire fighters were now being called into the military for the Korean “Police Action”. The following are some of the men who served in this action.: CHARLES (MIKE) MOONEY DENNY MORRISON O.G. FAULKNER GEORGE BOECKER.
Mr. Meyers who passed away on March, 23, 1951, would have celebrated his 50th anniversary with the department on October 12,1952. He was 88 years old when he died.
The company celebrated its 50th anniversary with a dinner party. President W. W. ROBINSON spoke about our past accomplishments and Chief McCullough talked about our bright future.
Chief McCullough reported during the entire year of 1951 we received 82 alarms of fire and there were still seven weeks left in this year. This was of great concern.
Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Association purchased its first two-way radio equipment in 1953. Member Vincent Smith held several classes to train the men on the proper procedure to be used operating this equipment.
In 1953 the men began tearing down the old wood frame fire house leaving the brick hall built in 1913. Taking this building down and avoiding interruption in fire service was quite an operation. The men received a lot of help hauling away debris from our friends and neighbors. During this operation the engine was kept outside under canvas.
The men proceeded to erect the new building. Captain Bud Nordin drew the plans. Wm. HARTING Company dug the foundation at a reduced charge and members dug the trench to bring in the gas. water. and the sewage line. Under the guidance of member and block layer, Russell Palmer the men built an addition to the hall that housed the new kitchen, rest rooms, and serving area. Cutting through the walls of the old building were extremely difficult and took many hours. Contractors Freeman and Grafton were hired to complete the construction. Member Wilson Sheminant (Curley’s Pluming) put in the new plant and the rest of the plumbing. Tex Wright a master electrician and fire fighter from Baltimore Highlands took out a permit and our members wired the building.
On Saturday Dec. 5th, 1953 a ceremony was held and the corner stone Laid. A letter showing the date the work started, the date the contract was signed the names of the officers in the company, and a new Lincoln penny were placed in a plastic box in the corner stone. The corner stone was sealed on Monday December 7th 1953.
A woods fire in 1954 threatened many homes in Lansdowne. Forty of our members, along with assistance from seven other fire companies and three state forestry units fought this fire. Hot spots erupted and the fire wasn’t completely out foe a few days. By this time a large area from Saratoga Ave. to Edna Ave, now Hollins Ferry Rd. had burned before this fire was contained.
On April 9,1955, the official dedication for the new building took place. It was followed by a parade. The first floor of this new building housed the engine and radio rooms. The second floor provided office space, the new stage, one of the offices was rented to the building and loan. The building and loan had been renting this office since before the depression, although our records don’t show exactly when they first began this policy.
On July 3, 1957 the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Dept. held a dual party in recognition of Phil Potters 50 years of service and the Ladies Auxiliaries 20th anniversary. The department gave Mr. Potter a plaque and the ladies presented him with a bouquet of roses. Father Bryne, Pastor of St Clements Church, Mr. Potters Parish, spoke of the many sacrifices Mr. Potter had made in the early days of the department.
President. W. W. Robinson spoke of the many offices held by Ladies Auxiliary President, Mary Smith. He noted that she held offices in the state and the county as well as in Lansdowne. He also recognized past Presidents Elizabeth Mooney, Kate McCullough, Gloria Poole, and Connie Mogavero. He then outlined the many achievements of the ladies in their brief history. Mr. Gochnauer represented the Veterans of Foreign Wars, he gave a speech, thanking both the ladies and Phil Potter for their service to the community.
Lt. J. Donald Mooney kept his men on duty for three days because of a heavy snow storm in 1958. One of the storm related calls they answered required the men to dig a 500 foot path through the snow and carry a patient who had just been released from the hospital.
Again there was a drowning at Creamers Lake. On the 4th of July 1958 thirty eight men searched for two days before the young mans body was recovered. We have been called upon for search and rescue at this lake to many times throughout out history, far to many young people have lost lives in this lake.
Because the town of Lansdowne has grown so rapidly in resent years the possibility of fire has greatly increased. A civil defense truck was loan the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Association as a back up unit. This piece of equipment answered 26 field and brush fires, 32 local, state, and or forest property and 11 false alarms, by March of 1959. Repairs for this period were just $48.00 occurring in February 1959.
Our Athletic field was appraised and sold for $14,000. After paying the mortgage of $6,500. and the interest due, plus 1/2 of the federal stamps, a profit of $7,305.85 was realized.
Our Young men were now being called into the military because of the Vietnam war:
Robert Gayhart J. Raynor
Wayne Davis R. Phillips
Louis Keene G. Luedtke
Andrew Housley M. Hild
L. Dyer Eugene Hawes
B. Devoter J. Devoter
K. Scarlett Robert Vanalest
A new Seagrave pumper was purchased in 1960. This 750 gallon pumper cost $25,247.00. This beautiful piece of equipment won many trophies in parades.
We lost another of our past Presidents and member of 45 years, John Herbert Gochnauer. At the time of his death Mr. Gochnauer was a member of our board of directors.
In 1965 the old style stove pipe hats were replaced with the more modern military style.
In 1966 many of our members were now living in the Riverveiw area,therefore it was necessary to buy a new and louder siren. A large amount of hose also needed to be purchased and unfortunately a new $3,600.00 motor for their engine had to be bought. Members immediately began planning all kinds of fund raisers to meet these obligations. With the help of the ladies auxiliary and some very successful roast they managed to overcome this debt.
At the Maryland State Fireman’s Association convention held in Ocean City June 22, O. J. Faulkner received a plaque for his work in fire prevention during the years 1965 and 1966. At this same meeting Richard Mooney was elected Trustee for the Maryland State Firemen’s Association.
At the Catonsville Parade Lansdowne won first place for best appearing pumper and also a trophy for best appearing company. Later that month we took second place at the Brooklyn Parade and first place again at both the Arbutus and Jessups parades, for engine 362. Chief McCullough expects the men to clean every inch of the engine, we are always among the very best appearing apparatus.
On October 12,1966, in the early morning hours, we responded to a building fire at the Maryland Housing Corporation. This corporation was very much like a enormous lumber yard. The fire had already engulfed the office when the fire fighters arrived. It was remarkable how quickly the men contained the fire. We received a letter of thanks and appreciation from the corporation owners.
In 1967 at the direction of the Civil Defense Commission, the Lansdowne High School was designated the fall-out shelter for the Lansdowne Fire Department’s crew and equipment.
June 22, 1968 was a very sad day for our membership. On this day our Chief of 39 years passed away. Chief George McCullough who was recognized throughout the State for his work in fire fighting. Chief McCullough taught at the University Of Maryland’s Fire Extension Service. Under his guidance men at Lansdowne received extensive training., as a result the Chief that followed him also taught at U. M. and insisted his men have the best equipment we could buy and the best training programs.
In 1969 a fire occurred at the United Methodist Church on Laverne Ave. the fire fighters were praised for their remarkable work in saving the stain glass windows. These windows were made in England about 50 years before the fire and were considered irreplaceable. Fire fighters also covered the organ to protect it from water damage during the fire. This was a very hot fire and the fire fighting was called extraordinary.
Our new 1000 gallon pumper was put in service May 2nd 1971 at 1510 hours. It received its first call at 2255 hours to the American Can Company on Hollins Ferry Rd. This vehicle cost $37,605.15. The department now had a 196 and 1971 engine.
The Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Department purchased the house on the east side of the station and had it torn down in 1972, in an effort to alleviate the parking problem and give us a little room to have small street carnivals etc.
Hurricane Agnes struck on June 22, 1972. Agnes caused a lot of destruction and a large section of Lansdowne was flooded. The Lansdowne Fire Co. responded to 17 incidents during this emergency. The total number of men responding was four hundred and five. Our hall was setup as a temporary shelter where flood victims were fed and housed. During the clean up after the flood waters had subsided, our men responded to six pump details. Two of these required water be pumped from an entire row of homes, it took 24 hours just to pump the water from Carlings Brewery.
The 66 Annual Convention Of The Baltimore County Volunteer Firemen’s Association was held at Lansdowne Middle School on September 15,1973. Contest were held between the different departments. It was a very enjoyable event for the public, and the participants.
On January 1st, 1976, a multi-alarm alarm fire destroyed Wilson’s Lumber Yard in Ellicott City. The fire spread very rapidly through the row of businesses in the old historic section of Main Street. While fire fighter’s from Lansdowne were fighting a fire in one of these buildings the building started to “breathe”. Deputy Chief Gouchnauer order the men out as quickly as possible. Just seconds later it erupted into an inferno. One of the walls blew out. Fortunately none our men received any serious injuries. It was close, a few men were hit in the back by flying debris.
A parade was held as part of Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Association’s 75th Anniversary. Friends and neighbors also enjoyed an open house with plenty of hot dogs and soda. The Installation of Officers was also a special event, with souvenirs for all the members.
Some improvements were made to Lans. grounds in 1977. A new garage was erected, the parking lot was finally paved, and a new apron was layed. Three flag poles were erected. The first flag pole was in memory of Eugene Titus, donated by his mother Harriette Titus. The second in memory of John Herbert Gochnauer Sr. donated by his wife Freida Weber Gochnauer. The third was donated by the Lansdowne Ladies Auxiliary in memory of the officers, fire fighters, of the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Department and Its Ladies Auxiliary.
Our first utility truck was purchased in 1977 at a cost of almost $7,000.00. This four door truck with a back seat enabled the department to use this vehicle to transport members to some incidents that did not require the engine. Its main purpose was to haul things for pit beef sales.
In 1978 a potentially tragic fire broke out at the Beltway Motel and Restaurant. The Baltimore County Fire Department awarded the following citation to the members of the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Department.
ON DECEMBER 16,1978, A SERIOUS FIRE OCCURRED IN THE BELTWAY MOTEL AND RESTAURANT, INVOLVING THE RESTAURANT AND THE THREE–STORY MOTEL STRUCTURE. CREWS OPERATING AT THE SCENE SAFELY EVACUATED 59 PEOPLE, CONFINED THE FIRE TO THE RESTAURANT, AND CONTAINED THE FIRE IN A VERY SHORT TIME,THUS AVERTING WHAT MIGHT HAVE BECOME A MAJOR TRAGEDY.
FOR THEIR ACTION, WHICH ARE IN THE HIGHEST TRADITION OF THE FIRE SERVICE, ENGINE COMPANY 360 AND ALL ITS PERSONAL SERVING ON THEM ARE HEREBY AWARDED THE BALTIMORE COUNTY UNIT CITATION.
A second citation was awarded to members of Lansdowne on November 16th, 1980.
A UNIT CITATION WAS AWARDED TO THE CREW OF ENGINES 361 AND 362 FOR THEIR OUTSTANDING EFFORTS IN CONTAINING AND EXTINGUISHING A POTENTIALLY TRAGIC FIRE AT THE HOWARD JOHNSON MOTEL.
These men received citation ribbons.
CHIEF J. DONALD MOONEY FIREFIGHTER ROBERT JACOBI LT. GILBERT CARD FIREFIGHTER ROBERT AIREY LT. CHARLES AIREY FIREFIGHTER JOHN LEWIS JR. SGT. VINCENT EDWARDS FIREFIGHTER VERNON NORTEL SGT. EMIL HOUCK FIREFIGHTER SCOTT TORBECK FIREFIGHTER CHARLES GREEN FIREFIGHTER WILLIAM KEYS FIREFIGHTER JOHN AMOLE FIREFIGHTER PAUL REINKE FIREFIGHTER JOHN KOHL FIREFIGHTER ARTHUR HUTCHINS
The high rate of inflation in the late 1970’s and early 80’s threatened many volunteer fire companies. It is essential to raise the large somes of money necessary in the operation of a fire department. For this reason we began holding a large carnival again in 1984.
The success of this carnival is a tribute to our friends and neighbors as well as our members. Many business managers and their employees, neighbors, friends and members worked many hours for our success. The hardware store ran the “DIME PITCH”, employees of the hardware store all worked the stand at night after working hard all day. The cashiers from Eddies Supermarket ran another stand for us. Some stores donated prizes some donated other items and their time as well. We have come to depend on our neighbors as much as they depend on us.
Georgette Lewis (Jody) our first female fire fighter, joined the company in 1985.
In 1985 Lansdowne’s engine 361 responded to the first alarm of fire at the Washington Aluminum Company. Baltimore County Engine 5, just blocks away was the first on the scene. These men were inside walking the length of the long building when it suddenly erupted inflame. The men raced for the exit with the fire chasing them. The whole building was completely engulfed in flame by the time the second engine arrived. The fire went to 3 alarms within minutes. Fire fighters could do nothing to save it.
In 1985 Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Department purchased a new Seagrave engine and had the 1971 engine refurbished. The New engine cost $154,845.00 and refurbishing the old engine cost another $50,000.00. The men no longer have to ride on the back step, a dangerous situation. There is a double size cab for the men to sit in, the new engine is completely enclosed.
At one of our regular monthly meetings one of our older members was not use to the high cost of everything asked; How can we spend so much money? Where is it all coming from? “Well John (his pinochle partner said) we’ve taken out a very large life insurance policy of you.” He was joking of course.
In 1985 after first looking into insurance and possible legal problems we decide to start a cadet unit. Our first member was Ronald Poole Jr. He joined January 24th 1986. By late summer other young people had joined. J. J. Lynott, Craig Holbein, Ray Gill, Mike Clabby, Roy Hayes, Willie Kirkpatrick, Amy Honaker and Mike May. The Cadets are taught CPR , use of breathing apparatus and receive hose and ladder training. They march in parades, work bull roast and other events, they are involve in as many department functions as possible.
The Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Department held a fund raiser in honor of Baltimore City Mayor William Donald Schaefer, who was running for governor. The mayor presented President Ron Poole Sr. with a birthday gift, our chief Don Mooney presented the Mayor with a helmet and welcomed him as an honorary chief of the department. We did not spend any money to hold this event, and we were given all the profits.
At the request of the Baltimore County Fire Department we have assumed operation of a county air unit. The next closest air unit it stationed at Towson.
Fire fighter trained to operate this unit are:
|Charles Airey||Robert Jacobi||John Reid|
|Mike Altvatar||Dave Keppley||Paul (Dave) Salyers|
|Doug Baumgartner||John Lewis Sr.||Bernie Smith|
|Anthoney Buscemi||Stephanie Lewis||Charles Torbeck Jr.|
|Gilbert Card||Lou Miller||Scott Torbeck|
|Paula Card||J. Donald Mooney||Mike Welden|
|Howard Hodges||Steve Mooney||Jaquelin Williams|
The first call for air unit 368 was received just 30 minutes after it was placed in service.
A 1988 “carryall” was purchased at a cost of $20,000.00. With this 9 passenger vehicle we can now transport members to and from training classes held in Towson and other stations. We have also been using it to transport the cadets to parades, even the one in Ocean City. The Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Association is proud that many of its members have become career fire fighters. Most have gone on to achieve promotions in their respective departments. One of our young men, who has since married and moved away, achieved the rank of Battalion chief at age 35.
The year of 1989 began on a very sad note. Our good friend and supported Judge Edward Hardesty lost his fight with cancer in January.
February 18, 1989 Lansdowne fire fighters were on the scene of a two alarm fire in Halethrope This three story dwelling had been converted into three apartments. Baltimore County Chief Nelson stated the fire was arson.
We had to do without two of our female fire fighters for six weeks. Sisters Jody (Lewis) Airey and Stephanie Lewis both slipped on the ice. Jody fell Feb. 3rd and broke her leg, and Stephanie fell on the ice Feb. 4th and tore a ligament, both girls recovered very well.
Our Chief Don Mooney lost two toes and part of his foot to diabetes. He was hospitalized in February and remained hospitalized, until March 17. He was unable to return to work until August. Even though he was unable to work he would show up at the fire grounds to be sure things were handled properly.
The Baltimore County Fire Department and the Baltimore County Firemen’s Association held a fire prevention demonstration on April 23, 1989. This was not only very educational it was just plain fun! Children were given plastic helmets and taken for rides on the fire engines. Fire fighters held a mock accident, the victim them had to be extracted form a vehicle, the victim was placed on a back board and placed in the waiting Medi-vac Helicopter.
A ceremony was held for the unveiling of the Baltimore Vietnam War Memorial on Memorial Day Weekend May 1989 The Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Department was asked to operate the pit beef stand.
Our fifth annual carnival was held on the Lansdowne Shopping Center grounds again this year. There were all types of food, games, and rides. The major entertainment was Country Western Singer Lane Brodi and Tom Bresh. We made a profit of $33,000.00. It took a lot of hard work by everyone to make this carnival a success. We again must thank our community for all their support, one way was the crab feast for all who worked held in August.
All who went to this years County picnic said they had a good time in spite of the heavy rain that fell all day long.
Among the affairs we participated in this year was the 100th anniversary of Lansdowne. We operated the pit Beef and a flower Wheel both showed a good profit.
We also attended the Timonium Fair and participated in the Public fire and safety demonstration.
We catered a bull Roast for the Moose Lodge this year, something new for us.
A new radio system will go into operation in January of 1990. Our members are busy learning how to operate the 800 MHZ system.
Vice President Lou Miller became a cover boy and TV star this year. Papa Lou has had his picture in the National Geograpics Magazine in the past, but this time he was on the front cover of Maryland Magazine, each time in a Civil Was full dress uniform. He has also been photographed with President Bush in the Sun Papers, at Fort McHenry. To top it off he made a few commercials this year as well.
On Oct. 25 1989 we signed a lease agreement for the ground we plan to build the new fire house on, with Balto. County. This deal has been in the works for quite some time, getting the ground for $1.00 a year for each of the next 99 years makes the wait worth while.
In November of 1989 we loaned our (1960) engine ,E363 to Pikesville. They are having their engine refurbished and were not satisfied with the engines Baltimore County could loan them for long term use. E363 is an old engine but is has a very good pump, but it has been stored on the parking lot for some time. Pikesville’s members compounded, painted it and generally put it in better shape. Engine 363 was put into service, replacing engine 321 December 10, 1989.
On November 28 Chief J. Donald Mooney was hospitalized at Shock Trauma for more surgery on his foot, as a result of his diabetes. Chief Mooney came home to recuperate Dec. 11, 1989 and appears to be doing much better.
Our annual tree sale was very successful this year. This year was particularly difficult for the workers this year since it was the coldest December on record.
A Christmas Eve fire on Gehb Ave. in Lansdowne quickly went to a second alarm. The fire started as a result of a home owner trying to thaw frozen water line …with a propane torch! Water pressure was very low, possibly because a number of water mains had ruptured through out the city and county. This hampered fire fighters attempts to bring this fire under control, the temperature when the fire broke out was 11 degrees with a wind chill factor of 36 below zero. Thick ice formed over the engines and the fire fighters, helmets and gear.
The Santa detail, that usually starts a 1 p. m. on Christmas Eve. was canceled to the dismay of our Community who called the station frequently asking why couldn’t the engine come around after the fire was out, they didn’t realize the fire fighters had been out all night , filling in a station in Howard County, the night before. The men still had to rack hose and do all the tasks needed to put the engine back in service.
Bill Smith received the fire fighter of the year award this year. Our friends from our sister station in Lansdowne Pa. were our guest. They presented us with a beautiful engraved bowl, with their logo on one side and ours on the other. Many of our political friends were also invited so we could show our thanks for their helping us obtain the ground for a new building.
Members of the career department received certificates, D/C Bartenfelder, John Gochnauer, and Rocko Gabreil State Fire Marshall. Deputy Chief Bernie Smith received a toy fire engine, “something he could handle” as a result of three minor fender benders.
Damone Hazelton was fire fighter of the year, and received a gift certificate for a complete dress uniform and a plaque. Charles Torbeck Jr. received a plaque and a gift for being first runner up. President Lewis received a plaque for second runner up.
On March 3 1990 we had a crowd of 210 people at our Annual Stag Bull And Oyster Roast. There wasn’t much room in the hall, the crowd spilled over into the engine room and the rec. room. But we made $2,563.92.
The Easter flower sale brought in $1,800 this year, quite a large sum when flowers are sold for $3.00 a single plant and $12.00 a hanging basket.
The Mothers day sale didn’t do as well but we still made a profit of over $500. Quite good when everyone else is out there selling flowers too.
The new weight room is very popular with the younger members. It had to be squeezed in between the washer, dryer, tools and paint cabinets in the dingy gray block room . Maybe we can fix up something better soon.
Chief J Donald Mooney informed the board at their last meeting, Dec. 1990, that he would accept the responsibility of Chief for the last time in 1991. He wanted the board to know his decision to step down at the end of 1991 so they would have ample time to find a successor.
Don spent a great deal of time in the hospital during 1990. He said that while his illness played a key roll in his decision he wanted to spend more time with his family. He said his illness made him more aware of the importance of his family.
The only people eligible for chief are Vince Edwards, who does not wish to be considered, Deputy Chief Bernard Smith who will be President of the Maryland State Firemens Association starting in June of 1992, and Charles Airey who will be getting married this October and feels he has all he can handle between school, work and the wedding.
Who ever accepts this responsibility for 1992 will find it very difficult if not impossible to live up to Chief Mooney’s reputation for fairness, intelligence, being a born leader and all that goes with it.
Fire Fighter of the year for 1991: Victoria Nolan President Bush is pushing volunteerism, he wants all volunteers to use a flag, Maryland’s is a red rectangle with a large wide white M in the middle inside the M is a yellow V for volunteer and at the base of that is a circle resembling the state insignia.
A stump dump fire still burning in Baltimore County north of us had every paid station and every volunteer station taking turns trying to put it out, but its still burning under the surface of the earth about one year now.
We had an unusual request in March of 1991, a circus train in route to Baltimore was kept on a siding off Patapsco Ave. for an unusual amount of time without water for the animals. We were happy to be of assistance, even though the elephants squirted President Lewis after he gave them a good drink.
We all look forward to the convention in Ocean City every year, and this year was no exception. Deputy Chief Smith was sworn in as President of the Maryland State Fireman’s Association and Chief Mooney was again sworn in as Executive Chairman, but not before a serious mishap. While standing on a ladder hanging a campaign banner Don Mooney fell and Broke his ankle,
Dr. Amin Ramsey, (Chief Surgeon) at shock Trauma.
Leo Norris a retired career fire fighter and retired member from Lansdowne died just after the convention. We are glad that we got to spend the convention week in his company.
The carnival went well , It was a lot of work as usual but the carnival party was even better with some large juicy steamed shrimp, the fried ones were good too.
Sgt. Mike Burg, Sgt. John Sipes, and Dave Keppley handled the fire prevention duties this year visiting the schools and teaching fire safety. This is also the week fire drills are held.
Lansdowne and several other volunteer fire departments took part in a house burning. This is the best way to sharpen skills.
We lost another member of our department this fall. Dave Faulkner age 34, the doctors never did say just what was wrong with Dave, but he appeared to have some sort of illness that weakened the muscles. Dave remained active as long as he was able, still coming by regularly when he had to use crutches. Family or friends brought Dave to the fire house when he had to use a wheel chair. It was very sad to see this strong handsome young man getting weaker and weaker.
INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS 1992 / OR J. Donald. MOONEY DAY.
The evening began with numerous awards and gifts for Don Mooney.
One was a County resolution that officially made January 20, 1993 James Donald Mooney Day. He was made Chief Emeritus of the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Department. Chief Bernie Smith gave Don a clock he had made with all the company badges on it. It was a beautiful piece of work. He received a gift from one of the community’s businesses, The Lansdowne Inn. The Lansdowne Inn gave him 10 free dinner certificates. One of our member had approached them asking to buy the certificates, when the owner of the Inn found out who they were for, they said no, I want to give him this gift.
He received gifts from the County Volunteer Association and the State Association. It was quite a celebration. Don is a very intelligent, well liked individual who has many friends and acquaintances, from his many years of State, local and county work.
Ronnie Poole was fire fighter of the year. Ronnie acquired 5,000 points to earn Fire fighter of the year. Ronnie received a gift certificate for a uniform or something of equal value. He earned this while attending high school and working at NSA part time. Ronnie also received a certificate for making over 400 responses this year.
Ronnie also received the “Life Saving Award”. During this past year, while in his senior year at Lansdowne High he performed the Hiemlich maneuver on a classmate who was choking on a large paper clip.
Vince Edwards received a Stump removable award. He had hit an old tree stump with the engine tearing it right out of the ground.
Murdock Donnelly was presented with the helmet that he had run over and crushed with the engine.
Keith Martin was presented with a map of Lansdowne so he could find our first due area.
Pat Airey painted a large sign announcing our future building, about twenty members showed up to raise the sign. Feb. 17 we received one complaint over the new building when the sign went up. We sent out flyers inviting the community to meet and hear what is going on concerning our new building. We had to put a new roof on the building, the old one had been repaired as many times as we dare.
Among the new fund raisers were trying, is a skate-a-thon, held every Friday night. It has been well received by the community so far. But again it is an affair that takes a number of people to operate, to cook and sell food, take care of the music, several to watch the skaters and keep their speed down. Another problem is, we have to hold our company meetings in the engine bay, which is rather cold in the winter.
The Lansdowne Vol. Fire Dept. Cadets, Best Appearing Jr. Fire Company at the MSFA Centennial Celebration. Those who went up there said it was good but the rain was really heavy all day. At the Glen Burnie Parade we received trophies for “Best appearing Company Overall”, Company with most uniform men, “Best appearing 1000 gallon pumper.
Carnival time brought storms with high winds, Pat Airey and Peg Mooney’s stand, the raffle stand, blew over again. The bamboo skirt and roof are going to have to be replaced soon, they were pretty well beat up.
Laura Burg dressed up as a Dalmatian and Bob Sirbaugh dressed as Smoky the Bear at the September 1992 Fire Expo. Middle River divers were probably the most popular demonstration. Considering the heavy rain all day it was surprising how many people showed up, and how long they stayed.
New Officers For 1993 Board Of Directors Lou Miller Vince Edwards Chuck Torbeck Don Mooney Charles Kountz Pat Airey Bob Airey Paul Reinke Carol Lewis
Executive Officers President……..Jay Lewis V.P. …………Dave Kepply Treasurer……..Don Mooney Assist. Treas….Murdock Donnley Financial Sec….Rob. White Secretary……..Jody Airey Fire Line Officers Chief…………Bernard Smith Deputy Chief…..Charles Airey Assist. Chief….Bob Jacobi Capt………….Gil. Card Capt………… Vince Edwards Lt. ………….Doug. Baumgartner Lt……………Victoria Airey Lt……………Ronnie Poole Lt……………Mike Burg Sgt…………..Bob Sirbaugh Fire Fighter of The year……..Damone Hazelton
Our first call during 1993 was for medical assistance. The first fire call was a mobile home that was destroyed at the Beltway Trailer Park. member Pat Airey said she heard an explosion, rushed up the street to see a neighbors mobile home completely involved. The only thing the fire fighters could do was to stop the fire from spreading to other homes.
The first thing on President Lewis’s agenda was the new bunk room he wanted to build in the upper hall. Everyone in the company agreed we needed a new bunk room, there was almost no ventilation in the present room which divided the rec room into two sections. It made sleeping on weekends very difficult and the noise was frequently very bad. It was also very stuffy and hot. While all the membership agreed we needed a bunk room there was little agreement as to where it should be. After several meetings and battle line being drawn, because there really wasn’t any room to put it, Don Mooney suggested using the current office space. One of the offices once housed The Lansdowne Building and Loan. We had rented the space to them from the mid 1930’s until sometime in the 1970’s. The area that had once been our bar on the first floor was to be enlarged eight ft. and become the fire line offices. The new bunk room was then be moved upstairs. The members were able to solve this matter and work together again. Sometimes needs arise and cause serious disputes each group thinking they have the only solution and can’t seem to look past there own individual ideas for an even better solution. This was one of those times when a completely new idea was brought forth and all parties were satisfied. The bunk room was moved upstairs and is in the best possible place in a building that we outgrew years ago.
A major snow storm kept us busy for a few days in March, its a good thing the bunk room was finished, every available bunk and chair was used to sleep in while members manned the station.
Opening Day tickets to see the Orioles in their brand new ball park were raffled off at the March bull roast, we made a really good profit off the tickets that sold themselves. Everyone wanted to win those tickets. That raffle paid for the partial season ticket package, the remainder of the tickets will be raffled off at different events during the year. We plan to raffle some off each night during the carnival for instants. The flower sale that Claudia Hass And Bill Keys run every year went very well, making over a thousand dollars again.
This year several members and cadet members were part of flight 5050 a simulated airline disaster held every few years for training purposes and to help officials determined what and how to handle a real event. A hospital tent and emergency personnel were set up in no time at the site. One of our cadets was deemed to have to severe an injury to be treated there and was shipped to a hospital. The drill went pretty well but there were some areas of weakness.
We received a favorable decision from the zoning board but it has been appealed. It was for a special variance allowing us to have a slightly small parking area than other buildings that size would have. The State Fire Fighters Convention Was held in Ocean City again this year and enjoyed by all.
The carnival went well without any major problems and a profit of $35,000.00 was made.
Renee’s Lounge had a fire that caused $170,000.00 in damage. It could have been even more serious, the french fry grease was left on with no one in the kitchen and the thermostat was not working. The fire walls at the shopping center are between every other store. There was some question as to if this was allowed by code when they were built in the 1950’s.
The Old Lansdowne Day celebration (100 years) was held in September. LVFD handled the pit beef sales. The parade was interrupted twice when medical units had to attend victims of the heat.
September is also when we hold our fire expo each year. This years favorite at the expo was the little fire hydrant that zipped around and talked to the children about fire safety. Smoky the Bear, the fire safety house, the State Police Helicopter, a seat belt simulator, fire fighting demonstrations, water and auto rescues were among the many attractions at this event that is free to the public every year.
In October the members held there annual football game, the youth, under thirty against the old, over thirty. While the young people won the game 35 to 7 you would never have known who won by looking at their remains the next morning. all who participated moved with great difficulty.
We entered the rendering stage of the new building design. This stage will cost about $30,000.00. The Architect says it could take a year for the design phase and cost $180,000. – $200,000.00 The building committee is not satisfied with the engineering firm and they were dismissed.
The Christmas Tree sale did well again this year netting a profit of $1,578.00, up from last year. Approximately $450.00 came from Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. employees who donated the money when we answered there request for a fire truck at their Christmas Party for Children. The Santa detail netted $278.00 on Christmas Eve.
|Fireline Officers 1994|
|Bernie Smith||Fire Chief|
|Charles Airey||Deputy Chief|
|Robert Jacobi||Assistant Chief|
|Gilbert Card||Fire Captain|
|Vince Edwards||Fire Captain|
|Ronnie Poole||Fire Lieutentant|
|Damone Hazelton||Fire Lieutentant|
|Wayne Simmons||Fire Lieutentant|
|Doug Brinkley||Fire Lieutentant|
|Mike Welden||Vice President|
|Georgette (Jody) Airey||Secretary|
|Robert White||Financial Secretary|
|Carol Lewis||Assistant Treasurer|
|Paula Card||Sargeant at Arms|
|Board of Directors|
|Robert Airey||Vice Chairman|
|John Lewis Jr.|
|VInce Edwards||(Resigned to accept Captain)|
Ronnie Poole and Damone Hazelton were among our first cadets.
Damone Hazelton fire fighter of the year!
Chief Bernie Smith made over 500 responses. 1994 started with a series of ice storms that caused numerous accidents. Nearly everyone fell or had several friends or family members that fell, fortunately not every one was injured. Hospitals were inundated medic units could not keep up with the calls. People quickly adapt though, you would see people going to work on ice skates. Another popular thing was to ware golf shoes, cleats suddenly became available to attach to your shoes. My own favorite was a broom handle with a nail sticking out the end to grip the ice. In May of 1994 a haz-mat box was sounded for Riverview Elementary School it seems a youngster took aa container from the science cabinet and accidentally dropped it in the cafeteria, the Janitor tried to mop it up with a damp mop causing fumes. I think all the bystanders were amazed that the county sends that much equipment out for something that would have been OK if the janitor had piped the mop in some water first. At the convention in Ocean City Chief Bernie Smith was elected into the Md. State Fireman’s Hall Of Fame, he joins Richard Mooney 1981, George McCullough 1981, (both posthumous) and Don (James) Mooney 1984. We are very proud to have four men from Lansdowne in this very exclusive group. All the usual fund raising events were held this year, The few different events were the Cadets visited the communication center at Towson and one of the fire boats. The Lansdowne Baltimore Highlands Senior Center held a Firefighters Appreciation Day where we joined them for dinner and games, they have some very good pool players. We certainly appreciate the support and kindness they have shown us.
New Officers For 1995
BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR 1995 CHARLES KOUNTZ…………….ATTORNEY BILL SMITH ……………….CHAIRMAN CAROL LEWIS……………….VICE CHAIR. MIKE BURG MIKED WELDEN PAUL REINKE CHARLES TORBECK SR. BOB AIREY JODY AIREY JOHN SIPES ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS SGT. AT ARMS PAULA CARD TREASURER STEPHANIE SCHNECKENBURGER FINANCIAL SEC. GEORGE NELSON ASST. TREASURER CAROL LEWIS SECRETARY JODY LEWIS MIKE WELDEN VICE PRES. DAVE KEPPLEY PRESIDENT FIRE LINE OFFICERS CHIEF .,………………ROBERT JACOBI DEPUTY CHIEF…………..CHARLES AIREY ASST. CHIEF …………..JOHN LEWIS JR. CAPTAIN……………….HARRY CARD CAPTAIN……………….BILL GRAY LT……………………ROB WHITE LT……………………BOB SIRBAUGH LT……………………GEORGE NELSON LT……………………JON SCHNECKENBURGER SGT. AT ARMS…………..LARRY RILEY
George Nelson was 1994’s fire fighter of the year, Ray Gill was second followed by Casey Douglas. Chief Smith was the member with the most fire calls for the year with 620 that is a record.
Chief Smith stepped down to take the responsibility of New Building Coordinator.
Progress on the new building has come to a halt, the person community business person who headed the building committee has been hospitalized twice during the past year. It will be very difficult to get the momentum going again. The fact that our communities prosperity isn’t doing to well either.
Bernie’s friend Carol Sures, has been giving us some direction on raising funds, she is also teaching journalism to the PR committee, driving up here from Annapolis every week at her own expense. Her suggestions have improved our News Letter quite a bit.
One of the projects we have started to move on is the Pennies Make It Possible. We will be giving out paper bags with the Pennies logo, house to house through out our community. weeks later we will go house to house to collect them. Pat has painted some large banners to put up in the community and to hang on the engine with the Pennies logo. We hope to get some media coverage. Bernie also wants to start a buy a brick campaign and is encouraging Jan on her cook book idea.
The pennies campaign brought in over $6,000.00 in the February trip. We are planning to do it again in August or September. Members went house to house giving out paper bags with the logo Pennies Make It Possible” A flyer was handed out with the bags stating we would be back Feb. 17th and 18th to collect the pennies. The Community was waiting for us two weeks later most waiting at the front door. We were getting bags of pennies emptied in tubs, by the wagon load and any other way they could be transported. One twelve year old girl gave $96.00 worth, every penny she had ever received since birth. While the engine crews were out collecting pennies about 10 of us sat and rolled, roll after roll after roll of pennies. Baltimore County High School will begin a fire fighting EMT program, called Tech Prep. This course will offer the regular math, English, History ect. classes but in addition will offer FF1/EMT Rescue Tech and so on This is just on an introductory basis hopefully enough students will opt for this training and the County , the students, and the fire department will all win.
A Spending freeze was placed on the Chief and committee chairmen in April. No money is to be spent unless it is absolutely necessary or it brings in funds, such as a bull roast.
The June issue of the newsletter was printed since once the amount Shaw & Sons would pay for advertising and the amount we would have to pay for carnival advertising was calculated it was cheaper to print it than try to advertise elsewhere. “Papa Lou” has been running the Balto. County Fire fighters Association hospitality house for many years during the Ocean City Convention. Every year the two apts. buildings on 59th street, The Sea Joy, have housed most of Lansdowne members with one apt for the hospitality house, and a few for people from other parts of the County. The convention was very interesting, I really appreciated listening to two speakers. One gentleman from Maryland was part of a rescue squad that went anywhere in the world they were needed, before being called to the Oklahoma City bombing he had worked on an earth quake in Mexico. He also talked about how the situations he normally works in make it necessary for his group to be totally self contained. Being use to eating only the foods you pack ect. He was amazed that while working the first day he said I could sure go for a pizza, and a few minutes later the resident brought in pizza for all the workers, he could not say enough about the citizens of Oklahoma. He explained the innovative new way they found exactly where the bodies would be by reenacting the bombing on a computer. The film he showed and his talk were spell binding. The other was a talk by the widow of one of the 6 New York fire fighters who died in a flash over. She spoke of how and why her husband died. It was very enlightening, particularly when she gave the statistics citing how few fires there are in large Japanese cities as compared to American cites, even though they have wooden houses crammed together. She felt it was because in Japan there is no such thing as an accidental fire, (the fire her husband died in was caused by leaving a pizza box lay on a stove to close to the polite light.) A person having a fire in Japan caused by carelessness is financially responsible and is jailed for murder if it causes loss of life.
We made about $25,000.00 on the carnival this year, a little less each year it seems. This year the unbearable heat kept the adults away. We began praying for the summer storms that had blown over our steel stands in past years, just to cool it off.
The building fund is not growing as quickly as the impatience of the members who want to purchase an ambulance. Due to the difficulty trying to raise funds for a new building, many members felt we should just put up a shed on the parking lot where we could house some of the equipment now sitting out in the weather, and an ambulance.
The profits from the Christmas Tree sale are not in yet, but most of our other profits are down. The Shrimp Feast and Dance held at St. CLEMENTS was a little less profitable than usual. The Bull & Oyster Roast was also down a little. We barely broke even on the Breakfast with Santa. A New Years Eve Dance was also a loss, members had decided to cancel it when they found out at the last minute they still had to pay the disk jockey. Santa on the engine and handing out candy canes did a little better, taking in over $800.00.
We purchased a used ambulance from Bel Air Fire Department. It will be put in service some time in late January. A pole building or a block building will be erected on our small parking lot as soon as possible.
New Officers For 1996 PRESIDENT……DAVE KEPPLEY VICE PRES……MIKE WELDEN SEC…………JODY AIREY TREAS………..ROB WHITE ASSSIT TRES…..JOHN SIPES FINANCIAL SEC….CASEY DOUGLAS SGT.AT ARMS…..JILL SHINDELDECKER BOARD OF DIRECTORS P. REINKE JODY AIREY VICTORIA AIREY CAROL LEWIS….RESIGNS MIKE WELDEN WM. SMITH …..RESIGNED ROBERT WHITE MIKE BURG ATTORNEY KOUNTZ JOHN SIPES FIRELINE OFFICERS CHIEF …………BOB JACOBI DEP. CHIEF……..JAY LEWIS ASSIST. CHIEF…..BILL GRAY CAPT…………..HARRY CARD EMS CAPT……….WAYNE SIMMONS *New position created LT…………….G. NELSON LT…………….BOB SIRBOUGH LT…………….WM. SMITH LT…………….RAY GILL SGT……………ADAM BOSLEY SGT……………JEREMEY BUFORD
Bill Smith resigned as Chairman of the Board in order to accept the position of Lieutenant. Charlie Airey did not accept the position of D/C due to his busy schedule. The time he wants to spend with his young son and his college classes are not allowing him the time he feels is necessary to do the job.
Installation of officers, scheduled for Saturday Jan. 16, was postponed due to inclement weather. Twenty Six inches of snow and high winds caused drifts everywhere. On Wednesday the 10th we had another 6 inches (they called for a dusting), on Friday the 12th we had 6 more inches of snow. Day time temperatures hovered around 17 degrees, When you have over 3 foot of snow in a town that panics at 6 in. throw in gale winds and snow drifts amazingly people get friendly and try to help each other out. You know it is serious when the shopping malls close. The fire department has asked people to try and find the fire hydrants near their homes and dig them out, meanwhile they are using metal detectors to locate as many as they can. Hopefully it will start to melt today, Sat. the 16th, it is suppose to reach 40 degrees.
Lansdowne purchases two KME pumpers at a cost of $295,000 each. E361, the 1998 KME is used as a trade-in and is returned to the dealer early in 2006 leaving Lansdowne with only the 1986 Seagrave. Several problems develop with the 1986 Seagrave including a blown motor that cause us to run with reserve engines from Baltimore County during the later part of 2006.
December: The new KME engines have been shipped to the dealer and Lansdowne arranges to “borrow” the engines for the Santa Detail. The two new engines are used to take Santa thru the community while the “in-service” reserve engine provides coverage for emergency incidents. This year, quite a few stuffed animals and small toys were received by the department for distribution in addition to the normal candy canes passed out during this detail.
Chief- Doug Brinkley
1st Asst Chief- Rob Kleimesch
2nd Asst. Chief- Ray Gill
Friday, January 12th the new KME engines arrive in Lansdowne. The twin engines each have a 1500 GPM pump with a 1000 gallon tank. Each pumper has 12 discharges – three for the crosslays, three for the rear preconnects, one right side large diameter discharge, two right side 2 1/2 discharges, one left side 2 1/2″ discharge, one front 2 1/2″ discharge, and a prepiped deluge set.
Friday, February 2nd: Equipment mounting is pretty much complete on E362. Chief Brinkley and A/C Gill lead training on the new engines at the fire academy. Both the new engines and the reserve engine as well as many station members attend this training.
Saturday, February 3rd, Engine 362 is placed in service at 13:52 hours by Chief Douglas Brinkley. Less than four hours later, Engine 362 gets it first run to assist Medic 5.
Chief- Ray Gill
1st Asst Chief- Doug Brinkley
2nd Asst Chief- Vaughn “Vern” Kaszak
Captain- Dave Ellis
EMS Captain- Patty Sipes
Lieutenants- Jon Schneckenbrger, Jeremy Burford, Ron Imbragulio
This year the Lansdowne VFD suffered a great loss! Chief Emeritus James Donald Mooney passed away July 10, 2008. Don was a icon in the Fire Service well known across the State especially for his hardwork he put in for the Fallen Firefighters Monument built in recent years in Annapolis. Chief Mooney’s viewing was held at the Lansdowne High Schools Auditorium and was very well attended we estimated over 200 people came to pay their respects. Chief Mooney was given full Fire Department honors for his many years of Dedicated Service.
Chief – Doug “Puppy” Brinkley President – Donna Kern
1st Asst Chief – Derek Bowser 1st VP – Krystal Fabian
Captains – Ron Imbragulio Sr 2nd VP – Dawn Brinkley
John Brinkley Sr. Treasurer – Bill Kern
EMS Captain – Stephanie Forbes Asst Treasurer – Val Gill
Lieutenants – William McCabe Jr. Recording Secretary – Jody Airey
Tony Cottle LOSAP Coordinator – Melissa Morris
Board of Director
Chairman – Paul Reinke, Jack Serio, Bill Noetzel, Craig Rankin,
John Miller, Stephanie Imbragulio, Tommy Taylor, Larry Riley, Andy Clevenger
In February, a contract was entered to purchase a new ambulance. It will be a F450 Type I Horton Box. This unit will cost a whomping $193,000, it is due in at the end of August. Times are extremely tough with the current economy but the current medic unit’s maintenance and repairs has become astronomical due to the van style Ford chassis, so a new ambulance was very much needed!
The building committee has once again reached a financial hurdle. Without a large donation from an outside investor we are no longer optimistic in our hopes to move to a new building to accomodate our equipment, so our ambulance would no longer have to park on the hill. None the less, this will not deter us from serving our community with pride and dedication.
September 11th, 2011 The New Medic 365 was accepted and driven back to Maryland by Captain John Brinkley, it is hoped to placed in service in early October after a trip to the radio shop and drivers training is completed according to Chief Brinkley.
September 21st, 2011 Past President Mike Burg passed away suddenly after learning he had Cancer.
Well we strated off good with our Annual installation of Offiers on January 12, 2013
the new officers sworn into office where,
Chief Robert Jacobi President Jason Dimeler
1st A/C john Brinkley 1st Vice Pres. Donna Kern
2nd A/C Chris Lancaster 2nd Vice Pres. Stephiane Imbragulio
Fire Capt. Jeremy Burford Treasuar Bill Kern
Fire Capt. Kenny Younger Asst. Treas Valerie Gill Fire Lieut. PJ Soucy Secertarey Jen Lancaster
Fire Sgt. Jimmy Radar L.O.S.A.P. Tracy Webster FIRE Sgt. Jon Peddrick Sgt. at Arms Tommy Taylor
Ems Capt. Dave Adkins
Ems. Lieut. Mary Adkins
Ems Lieut. Jordon Ashe
Board of Directors
Chairman Paul Renkie
Vice Chair John Sipes
Members Berine Smith
This year started off with the loss of some of our life members. Captain Emeritus Gilbert Card and Firefighter Mike Weldon had passed. The officers and members showed true brotherhood to their families. Also both members received F.D. honors from the members.
Lansdowne was coming to ages with the IRS. For years L.V.F.D. was a 501-C4 status with the IRS. Due to loss of funding and grants L.V.F.D. decided to change to a 501-C3 status. President Dimeler and board member Pete Abiera had sat down and started the process. The application was filed and mailed off. Our status will take up to 9 months for approval.
We where glad to hear that some of our members where elected into positions within The Baltimore County Volunteer Fireman’s Association. William “Bill” Kern was elected as the Treasurer, while his wife Donna Kern was elected Fanatical Secretary.
The Men and Woman of this department had responded to 947 Suppression calls and 909 E.M.S. calls. Unfortunate we had several fires within our first due. Out of all the fires the area of Lansdowne DID NOT have any lives lost to fire.
Officers for the year 2014
President Jeremy Burford
1st Vice President Tracy Webster
2nd Vice President Donna Kern
Treasurer Bill Kern
Asst. Treasurer Valerie Gill
Secretary Michelle Younger
Sgt. @ Arms Tommy Taylor
LOSAP Dave Ellis
Chairman of the Board John Sipes
Vice Chair Canard Smith
Board Members Ron Imbragulio
Chief Bob Jacobi
Asst. Chief Ken Younger
Capt. Ed Wood Jr.
Capt. Jordon Ashe
Lieut. Kaitlyn Reed
Lieut Murdick Donnelly
Sgt. Jimmy Rader
On January 1st Charles Kountz passed away. Mr. Kountz was the station attorney and also one of the attorneys for The Baltimore County Volunteer Fireman’s Association.
On Friday, January 24, 2014,
The Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Department regrets to announce the death of Board of Directors member William “Bill” Noetzel, Jr. Bill has faithfully served the LVFD in various capacities since 1992. His last position was as a valuable member of the Board of Directors, where he was a key contributor.
Due to Chief Robert “Bob” Jacobi stepping down as chief this left the department looking for his replacement. On Thursday February 27th the B.O.D. held interviews for the position of Chief. Derek Bowser was appointed to the position of chief
There were more changes around the fire house this year. Due to the finical loss the members decided that we need to stop public use of our hall. This was due to the age of the hall and other issues that slowed rentals.
Representatives for the 122nd annual Maryland State Fireman’s Association convention in Ocean City, President Donna Kern, Chief Derek Bowser, Treasurer Bill Kern, Past President Jason Dimeler.
There where some changes with the administrative officers during the year, the new officer are, President Donna Kern, 1st V.P. Stephanie Imbragulio, and 2nd V.P. Steve Hoffman..
There was also a new line up of operations officers, Derek Bowser Fire Chief, Dave Ellis 1st A/C, Chester Sturgil 2nd A/C, Jeremy Burford, Ed Wood Jr. Suppression Capt, Joe McDevitt E.M.S. Capt, Ed Wood Sr., Marcus Paxton Suppression Lieut, Kaitlyn Reed, Marty Biernack E.M.S. Lieut.
There has been some renovations started to the old hall. We have started to divide the space and make better use of it. The old had will now have a meeting/training room and the other half will be the recreation room. The 2 restrooms are being converted for convenience. The restrooms will now only have 1 toilet and 1 shower installed.
Due to the current condition and issues with Utility 369 Chief Bowser requested a replacement. The Board of Director approved the purchase of a 2003 Ford Excursion 4X4 to replace the Chevrolet 1500 Express van. The new utility will be the primary E.M.S. chase vehicle.