Rescue Hose Company No. 1 honors its own

PAT FRIDGEN
Members of Greencastle Rescue Hose Company honored for their service at the annual banquet were, from left, front row: Roger Bitner, Evan Strausner, Alexandra Gladhill, Brandon Shinn. Back row: Roger Johns, Alison Luger, Norm Hann Jr. and Cheryl Mowen.

Outgoing president Shanon Hummer started the thank yous at the 34th Annual Rescue Hose Company Awards Banquet Saturday night.

Volunteers from all departments were honored for their service in 2010.

"Sometimes 'thank you' is overlooked, but they are simple words that mean so much," said Hummer. "A thank you is the best recognition anyone can get."

He expressed his appreciation for the individuals who mentored him since he signed on to the RHC as a youth, for those who provided assistance during his term of office, and to everyone who helped the company in any way. He named the highlights of the past year - an emergency medical technician class was brought back to the station, the Junior program grew, the 1930 Seagrave Pumper went out for refurbishment, and a 2010 Pierce Heavy Duty Rescue Squad arrived.

"I've been touched by each one of you," Hummer said. "I love this company."

He then introduced Cheryl Mowen, the first female president of the RHC, who will lead the organization in 2011.

Several officers spoke of the efforts of their crews. Evan Strausner praised the Junior members, chief Brian Luger cited the emergency medical services team, and chief Kevin Barnes honored the fire department. They stressed the integrity and dedication of the personnel and then handed out the awards.

Roger 'Pap' Bitner received the Outstanding Service Award. He has been a member of the RHC since 1963, including 18 years as a line officer, and two years as fire chief. In 1970 he was the youngest fire chief in Franklin County at 24 years of age, unheard of at the time. "I live and breathe the fire department," he said later.

The other recipients were: Roger Johns, President's Award; Alison Luger, EMS Chief's Award; Cheryl Mowen, EMT of the Year; Norm Hann Jr., Driver of the Year; Evan Strausner, Firefighter of the Year; and Alexandra Gladhill and Brandon Shinn, Jr. Firefighters of the Year.

RHC chaplains Wayne Warren, Harry Myers and Don Eshleman Sr. presided over the memorial service for members who died in the past year: Edwin Bitner, Charles Cordell, Glenn Stine, Fred Staley and John Wine.

The program was emceed by Greg Hoover.

Stats

The emergency medical services staff responded to 1,087 calls in 2010. Of those, 312 were in Greencastle and 703 in Antrim Township. The fire department had 509 responses in 18 municipalities, with 97 in Greencastle and 292 in Antrim Township. The average number of responders per call was 11.26. There were 45 dwelling fires, nine in multi-dwellings, 37 brush fires, 26 in vehicles, eight fuel spills and 56 medical assists.