The Kingsville Volunteer Fire Company is getting ready to break ground for an upgraded fire station that company leaders say has been a long time coming.
Construction will start this summer on expansion and renovation of the company's station off of Bradshaw Road, which is expected to cost $2.7 million and take about a year, president Bob Chaney said.
At the 62-year-old company's annual banquet in Fallston on Saturday, Chaney thanked state Del. Richard Impallaria, State Sen. Kathy Klausmeier and Baltimore County Councilman David Marks for being among the elected officials who worked toward securing funding for the project. Chaney also thanked Sen. J.B. Jennings and Sen. Wayne Norman and Del. Pat McDonough
"We've been working for a long time trying to build a new building for Kingsville," Chaney told the audience at the banquet. The contributions and matching funds by Baltimore County "is a huge leap forward," he said.
"We are not stuck in the mud any more; we are moving forward," he said.
The company had originally launched a capital campaign in hopes of raising upward of $4 million for a new station but initially had trouble coming up with those funds. In addition to community fundraising, KVFC worked with Baltimore County government and the Maryland General Assembly to securing matching funding.
Marks told the banquet attendees he saluted the partnership that helped move the project forward.
"You're a beloved institution, you are critically needed and I look forward to being here next year in your new home," Marks said.
Salute to deputies
The neighboring Baltimore County fire company also joined fire and law enforcement groups from Harford County in remembering Harford County Sheriff's Office Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey and Deputy First Class Mark Logsdon, who were shot to death in the line of duty in Abingdon on Feb. 10.
Chaney led a moment of silence at the start of the banquet for both the deputies and for Kingsville members who passed away in the past, Earl G. Pumphrey, Betty List and Ruth Vanik.
The photo on the banquet program showed members of the company saluting on the Route 152 bridge over I-95 on the day of DFC's Logsdon's funeral, and Chaney noted the Kingsville company has had many Harford deputies among its members.
The commitment of first responders extends beyond the fire service, he said, as "we are on large community."
By the time Kingsville members arrived, many other firefighters and medical personnel were already on the bridge, he said.
Impallaria told the group how "important" it was to ride along I-95 in the motorcade escorting DFC Logsdon to the cemetery in Timonium and to see all of them on that bridge.
"It did mean a lot to all of us," he said.
Dennis Eyre, a Kingsville member who is also senior vice-president of the Baltimore County Volunteer Firemen's Association, said the Kingsville company is known for having members who pull together in hard times and rise above their disagreements.
"Kingsville isn't the biggest, Kingsville isn't the busiest. Kingsville does have several things that make them go heads and shoulders above everyone else," Eyre said.
The company responded to 799 fire and rescue calls in 2015 and 697 emergency calls.
One of the most notable calls was an incident where a tree fell on a barn last spring and pinned a teenage girl under the wreckage.
"Fortunately, our rescue squad responded with the tools and trained crew to extricate her. The incident was less than a mile from the station," the fire department wrote in its program. "She and her family came to the station a few weeks later to thank everyone for a job well done."
The EMS division is planning to replace its medic unit with an all-wheel drive unit this year and the fire company plans to replace its rescue squad with a unit that also has firefighting capability.
Jerome Lechasseur was named EMS Person of the Year and Lucas Berkeridge was Named Firefighter of the Year.
Lucas Berkeridge was also the top fire responder in 2015, with 362 calls. Other top responders were John Cooke with 348 calls, Shane Hubbe, 308; Bob Chaney, 288 calls; Cassidy Thompkins, 265; Jeffrey Weer, 229; Brendan Berkeridge, 221; Jeremy Heinz, 204; Salvatore Rivieri II, 187; and Alex Berkeridge, 173.
The top EMS responder was John Cooke with 171 calls. Other top responders were Michael Lynn with 158 calls, Seth Torbit, 143; Salvatore Rivieri, 114; Brendan Berkeridge, 65; Jerome Lechasseur, 59; Aaron Plumley, 46 calls; Allison Brunson, 45; Holland Georgieff, 45; and Eric Ernst, 43.