Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company Banquet

John Lassack, right, with EMS Chief Mike Hays, was Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company's top EMS responder for 2011. (Nicole Munchel | Aegis staff, Patuxent Homestead / February 5, 2012)

One Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company member received a first-time award Saturday evening at the company's annual banquet.

The banquet, which celebrated 82 years of the fire company, was dedicated to longtime member Charles Edwin "Bunk" Grimmel Sr., who received a prestigious award Saturday night for 70 years of active service with the company, a feat no other member has achieved.

"It's truly amazing how one man can impact so many lives," Fire Chief Rudy Walter said.

Grimmel was a top responder for 60 years, Walter said, and is full of stories from his time with the company, which dates to 1941. After thanking the "good Lord" for his health and ability to serve, Grimmel briefly told one of those stories, when the firefighters ran out of water and had to use 20 gallons of milk to contain a fire.


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Several politicians were on hand to present Grimmel with proclamations, including Harford County Council President Billy Boniface, Harford County Councilman Chad Shrodes and Harford Emergency Operations Center Manager Brian Feist.

Other service awards were presented to R. Allen Henderson, as a 50 years active life member; C. William Markley, with 50 years of service; Ruth L. Anderson, with 60 years of service in the ladies auxiliary; and Ruth Ann Poole, with 50 years of service in the ladies auxiliary.

In his time of service, Henderson was a top responder 49 out of 50 years – the year he wasn't was the one year he served in the military, Walter said.

Although 2012 marks Walter's first year as fire chief, it will be EMS Chief Mike Hays' fifth and last, he said during the evening.

Hays also announced the top EMS responders for 2011, who responded to a total 1,115 EMS calls.

John Lassack was the top responder again this year with 275 calls, followed by Andrew Hays, 207 calls; Ernest Tracey, 203; Jack Mory, 191; Deborah Woodfin, 176; Larry Bishop, 175; Richard Tauson, 170; Katie Smith, 150; Fred James, 144; and Ted Burkhardt, 133.

The fire side had a repeat top responder as well, with Ben Kurtz taking first with 428 calls. He was followed by Michael Parker with 350 calls; Cody Klapka, 340; John Lassack, 304; R. Allen Henderson, 284; John Simpson III, 278; Zachary Kraft, 236; Travis East, 233;Larry Bishop, 232; and Robert Tharp, 229.

There were 460 total fire and rescue calls in 2011.

Three ladies auxiliary members – Carol Bair, Donny Dietz and Deborah Woodfin – were inducted into the Harford-Cecil Ladies Auxiliary Hall of Fame. Bair is treasurer of the ladies auxiliary, serving with President Malea Daughton, Vice President Barbara Schulz, Recording Secretary Jennifer Eckard, Corresponding Secretary Kimberly Bishop and Chaplain Robbin Graybeal.

Daughton also took a moment to remember Connie Martin, who had served as the historian and died last week.

"We thank you, Connie, for being a friend and a sister to all of us," she said. "We love you and may you rest in peace."

The Ladies Auxiliary had 149 events and responses for 2011, with 3,906 total activity hours.

Other 2012 officers include Fire Chief Rudy Walter, Deputy Chief Ben Kurtz, Assistant Chief Mark Grubb, Assistant Chief Craig Messenger, Capt. Dave Pullen, Capt. Dan Budacz, Capt. John Cooney, Lt. Chad Haden, Lt. Travis Graybeal, Chief Engineer Ray Kozlowski, Secretary Charles Schulz and Sergeants Shaun Amole, David Fleming, Cody Klapka, Zachary Kraft, Mark Kwiatkowski, Mike Parker, Rob Parks and Jake Preston on the fireside.

EMS officers include Chief Mike Hays, Capt. John Schmidt, Lt. Cindy Esworthy, Lt. Andrew Hays, Engineer Ernest Tracey, Secretary Ken Sterner and Sergeants Fred James, Jack Mory and Katie Smith.

Members of the board of directors for 2012 are President Ted Burkhardt, Vice President John Lassack, Treasurer Laura Barwick, Secretary Denessa Fruhling and Directors Nancy Dorn, Jay Silvestri and Bill Stevenson.

Past Chief Claud Gamble, of the Jacksonville Volunteer Fire Company, finished the evening with closing remarks and thanked the family members and significant others who weren't necessary affiliated with the fire company, but still supported their loved ones who served.

"Every time that pager goes off, you're leaving someone," Gamble said, thanking the people who stay behind.