Lew Brown named Joppa-Magnolia Fireman of the Year

The Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company held its 57th annual installation of officers and awards banquet Saturday.

Several members were honored, new positions were taken and one longtime member was named Fireman of the Year.

Director of the Cecil County Department of Emergency Services Richard Brooks was emcee for the event, which was dedicated to members who died last year.

Company historian Lewis A. Brown Jr. was presented the coveted award of Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fireman of The Year.

Brown said the award, voted by the company's general body in November, was a complete surprise. No one told him until that night that he was this year's recipient.

"Nobody told me, not even my girlfriend," he said Wednesday.

A life member and past chief, Brown has been a member of the company for 41 years and was instrumental in organizing the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company 60th anniversary banquet in September. He also was chair of the renovations project to House 2.

As historian, he takes and organizes numerous photos and is writing a history of the company.

Kevin Thomas was awarded as the top fire responder, with 723 calls. The fire company responded to 1,279 calls last year.

Brown said Thomas is "very dedicated to the fire company," and comes from a long line of fire service members, including his mother, who was a firefighter. His father, Bob Thomas, a spokesperson for Harford County Government, is a veteran fire inspector and worked in the state fire marshal's office for many years.

Rounding out the top 10 fire responders are Tom Harrington, 541 calls; Tyler Colvin Jr., 537; Erik Petersen, 517; D'Angelo Holmes, 492; Tony Colvin Sr., 462; Mike Shiflett, 458; Chris Merk, 429; Greg Hanzlik, 428; and Kyle Kamberger, 419.

Top EMS responder, Rich Jagat, responded to 139 of the company's 3,439 EMS calls last year. Following him were Danny Adkins, 133; Robert Russell, 92; Ryan Barrow, 90; Jason Bosley, 90; Mark Hagley, 81; Mike McArdle, 81; John Cannon, 69; Stephanie Leader, 68; and Joe Burrs, 66.

The top 10 Ladies Auxiliary responders, which are measured in points, were Chris Cornes, 378; Anna Jonske, 354; Linda Younger, 307; Betty Byrne, 236; Georgette Swartel'e, 192; Susan Derlunas, 190; Millie Henning, 189; Amber Wainwright, 161; Margaret Bullock, 160; and Christiane Roscoe, 135.

Brown said the ladies auxiliary responders earn a point for every three hours of service they put in. Like many of the members, he believes each of the ladies most likely worked more than the hours they logged.

This year, the fire company started a new tradition, with the Edgar M. Williams Award, named after the late life member.

Mr. Williams was Joppa-Magnolia's first elected president in 1952 and was key to starting the company's ambulance service in 1953.

Mr. Williams served 10 years as ambulance captain, was a CPR instructor and was one of the first Red Cross first aid and emergency care instructors in the company.

It was this dedicated work that earned Mr. Williams the Dr. Howard M. Bubert Award for an act of heroism in saving a life in 1959.

The first recipients of the award in Mr. Williams' honor are Lena Brown, Fred Causey and EMS Captain Danny Adkins responding on Medic 892; and John Terrell, Fire Captain Adam Sennett and Kevin Thomas responding on Utility 871 for a call on Oct. 30 in the Box 806 area.

For a call on Nov. 16 in the Box 826 area, those awarded responding on Medic 891 were Jessica Morawski, Bernie Wesolowski Marcia Barben Paramedic, EMS Chief Ryan Barrow and EMS Captain Danny Adkins.

Responding on Truck 831 were Lt. Greg Hanzlik, Lt. Jason Freund, Richard Brooks IV, Chris Merk and D'Angelo Holmes.

Inducted into the Harford/Cecil Firemen's Hall of Fame for 2012 was Charles "Bunky" Morkosky.

Morkosky, who has been with the company for 56 years, served as president in 1978 and 1979, vice president in 1977 and ambulance captain in 1966. He was also on the board of directors for 13 years and a member of the 1972 World Champion First Aid Team.

The Harford-Cecil Ladies Auxiliary inducted Rita Harper and Myrna Sunderland into their hall of fame, as well.

New life members were honored for their years of dedicated service, and were presented with certificates and gold membership cards.

Charter member Jack Cloman was recognized for 61 years of service to the company, and Carol Reprogle, Charlie Simms and Jen Huey were recognized for their three years of service on the board of directors.

George Emmel IV, Jay Merk, Amber Wainwright, Doug Powers, Nina Adkins, Kevin Hook, Cathy Causey, Steve McElroy, Tony Colvin Sr., Susan Derlunas, Jake Van Gelder, Ed Wimmer, Vernon Popp and Jason Goodwin were also recognized as life members.

The Ladies Auxiliary Unsung Hero award went to Christiane Roscoe. Assistant secretary for many years, she has been with the auxiliary for 19 years.

Betty Byrne was also recognized with the Ladies Auxiliary Presidents Award for her eight years of service, including six as treasurer.

Officers for 2012 were also installed during the event.

Ben Kurtz, vice chairman of the Maryland State Firemen's Association Executive Committee, presented the line officers, who are Chief Ryan Barrow; Assistant Chief 8-1 Jason Freund; Assistant Chief 8-2 John Tripp; Captain 8-1 Tony Colvin Sr.; Captain 8-2 Steve McElroy; Captain 8-3 Rick Brooks; Fire Lieutenant 8-1 Tony Colvin Jr.; Fire Lieutenant 8-2 Tom Harrington; Fire Lieutenant 8-3 Danny Remeikis; Fire Lieutenant 8-4 Bill Vanarsdale Jr.; EMS Chief 8-9 Danny Adkins; EMS Captain 8-9 Jeff Harris; EMS Lieutenant 89-1 Jessica Morawski; EMS Lieutenant 89-2 Angie Barrow; EMS Lieutenant 89-3 Joe Burrs; and EMS Lieutenant 89-4 John Terrell. Sen. Barry Glassman administered the oath of office.

On the administrative side, Robert Russell will take over as president, with James B. Lyons III as vice president; Treasurer Gary Skillman; Secretary Ron Sollod; Assistant Secretary Raymond Fogler; Financial Secretary Steve Hatchett; Chaplain Margaret Bullock; and Sergeant at Arms Ed McCann.

On the board of directors for three-year terms are Jay Merk, Mark Stevens and Mel Wehrman.

Heading the Ladies Auxiliary is President Margaret Bullock. Supporting her is Vice President Bonnie Haden; Secretary Susan Derlunas; Assistant Secretary Christiane Roscoe; Treasurer Betty Byrne; Historian Georgette Swartel'e; and Chaplain Anna Jonske.

Serving three-year terms on the board of trustees are Millie Henning, Chris Cornes and Millie Koch.

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