Volunteers rewarded for service by Rescue Hose Company

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
The Rescue Hose Company presented awards to volunteers at its 36th annual banquet last Saturday. Among those recognized were, from left, front row: Diane Kerlin, Jennifer Hann, Brian Barkdoll, Matt Bowman, Bob Petrunak. Back row: David Lutz, Harry Gsell III, Norm Hann Jr., Dave Hann, David Delauter, Melvin Gsell and Jason Myers. Not pictured, Ronald Pond and Kevin Creager.

Brian Barkdoll received the Outstanding Service Award at the 36th annual Rescue Hose Company Awards Banquet Saturday night. RHC president Cheryl Mowen bestowed the honor, accentuating his many years of volunteer service. Barkdoll first joined the company in 1975, and accumulated over 25 years of membership contributions. His leadership roles included president, vice president, trustee, deputy fire chief, fire captain and fire first lieutenant.

Mowen's message to him and all RHC personnel was, "Believe deep down in your heart that you are destined to do great things."

Several other people were recognized during the program at the Special Events Center. They were: President's Award, Norm Hann Jr.; Junior Member of the Year, Matt Bowman; Rookie of the Year, David Delauter; EMS Chief's Award, David Lutz; EMT of the Year, Jennifer Hann; and Fire Police Award, Diane Kerlin. Life Membership awards went to Kevin Creager, Ronald Pond, Harry Gsell III, David Hann, Melvin Gsell, Robert Petrunak and Jason Myers.

Mowen reviewed 2012, which she called "an eventful year." Among the highlights - Alison Luger served as the first female EMS chief, the company lost an icon in Donald Eshleman Sr., an upgraded computer system was installed and a new ambulance arrived. The purchase of an engine tanker was approved, due for delivery this summer.

"Volunteers reflect this nation's compassion, caring and love," Mowen told the packed banquet hall. "Our key to success is you."

Members who passed away in the past year were remembered in a memorial ceremony. They were James Barnhart, Martha Bricker, Donald Eshleman Sr., Lauren Myers, Lloyd Rowe Jr. and Kenneth Wallech.

RHC received 500 calls in the year, with an average of 8.29 people responding to each. They logged 17,223 minutes on the calls. The incidents included 43 dwelling fires, 60 medical assists, 10 fluid spills, 54 automatic alarms and 114 personal injury accidents. Local response areas were Antrim Township, 304; Greencastle Borough, 88; and Washington County, 34.