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Joppa-Magnolia fire company celebrates Ravens win during annual installation

It was technically the 58th annual officers' installation for the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company, but the Saturday night event at the fire hall could have easily been mistaken for a Ravens tailgate.

With two giant screens showing the Ravens-Broncos game, fire company leaders decided to hold off on the ceremony until the end of the fourth quarter. When the game went into overtime, so did the ceremony.

The firefighters and emergency medical officials stayed busy cheering on Ray Lewis and the last-minute touchdown that helped the Ravens win the game.

The evening was dedicated to life member Edward Kimmel, who is deceased, and company leaders said Kimmel, a big football fan, would have appreciated the evening.

After the ceremony finally did get under way, Danny Adkins was named Firefighter of the Year.

The award is especially meaningful because it is voted on by all fire company members.

Kevin Thomas was voted EMS Responder of the Year, but he wasn't there to receive the award.

Jeff Wainwright received the gavel as the new president, and a handful of Life Saver Awards were given out to members who were instrumental in responding to a number of fires throughout the year.

Bob Thomas, Harford County spokesman, presented certificates of recognition on behalf of County Executive David Craig, along with a flag pin that he said is the same one worn by those in the White House.

"We thought that that is fitting for our fire service folks, so anyone who gets an award gets the flag that is worn at the White House," he said.

At a time when Craig just passed an executive order establishing a Department of Emergency Services, Thomas reassured the fire company that he values them, which drew round of applause.

"We have a great deal of respect in county government for the volunteers of the fire service," he said. "There's not enough accolades that government officials can pay to the volunteer fire service."

The Joppa-Magnolia Fire Company responded to 1,278 fire calls in 2012 and 3,507 EMS calls, and performed 24 drills.

The top 10 fire responders for the year were: Kevin Thomas, 895 calls; D'Angelo Holmes, 800; Tyler Colvin, 632; Mark Hoffman, 542; Jason Freund, 481; John Terrell, 448; Ian Williams, 414; Bill Vanarsdale Jr., 400; Erik Petersen, 393; and Steve McElroy, 392.

The top 10 EMS responders were: Joe Burrs, 114 calls; Andy Halman, 89; Clinton Polk, 87; John Terrell, 79; Rich Jagat, 76; Joe Ballistreri, 71; D'Angelo Holmes, 68; Chris Morawski, 68; Mark Hofmann, 68; and Joe Brush, 66.

The top 10 combined fire and EMS responders were: Kevin Thomas, 914 calls; D'Angelo Holmes, 868; Tyler Colvin, 634; Mark Hofmann, 609; John Terrell, 527; Jason Freund, 485; Ian Williams, 446; Robbie Russell, 442; Bill Vanarsdale Jr., 405; and Greg Hanzlik, 403.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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