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Harford’s Fire, EMS fundraising efforts hurt by coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has brought a halt a number of fundraising efforts by volunteer fire and EMS departments throughout Harford County.

The Level Volunteer Fire Company and Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company both have large halls that are rented for many weekends throughout the year by numerous groups, not to mention events run by and for the companies themselves.

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“We have had two fire company banquets cancel, one in March and one in April,” Level President Sandra Gallion said late last week. “We have had the Maryland State Firemen’s Executive Committee, which was a two-day event cancel, two hall rentals and the AA Breakfast which is usually over 200 people. All of our fire company meetings have been cancelled until further notice.”

Level also had to cancel its annual Safety Camp Bingo, which is the only fundraiser for the Safety Camp for K-Grade 5 and the Safety Boot Camp which is for sixth- through eighth-graders.

In addition, the annual Boy Scout spaghetti dinner, which is their major fundraiser and was to be held on March 14, was canceled.

The Havre de Grace Ambulance Corps annual banquet was to be held March 21, while the Susquehanna Hose Company was to celebrate its members with its annual banquet on April 11. Both have been forced to reschedule.

“While losing these events are impactful to our budget, the safety of the community and our members is of utmost importance," Gallion said. “Having our facility open to the community is not only a risk to those using the facility, but to our members whom we want to keep as healthy as possible so that they can serve the citizens of Harford County during this crisis.”

The MSFA Executive Meeting postponed for March 28-29 has not been rescheduled, but they are looking at dates in May. Those, though, are currently on hold, noted Gallion.

The Susquehanna Hose Company Banquet has been rescheduled for July 11. The other events postponed at Level have just been cancelled with the exception of Havre de Grace Ambulance Corps, which has not picked a new date yet.

“All of our bookings are on hold at this time as we will need to leave open dates for those that wish to reschedule,” Gallion said. “We still have one event in April, the Ladies Auxiliary to the Maryland State Fireman’s Association, which will more than likely need to reschedule/cancel. All other April events are cancelled.”

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In Jarretsville, the first St. Patrick’s Day Corn Hole Tournament, to benefit the Judy Hinch Benevolence Fund, was postponed March 21 and the tourney will be scheduled for a later date.

Also in Jarrettsville, the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company has also been forced to postpone its annual banquet. It was set for April 18 at the Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company’s Jarrettsville Gardens event hall. It may be canceled.

The Darlington Volunteer Fire Company was also forced to cancel its annual Corn Beef Dinner.

“Right now our biggest worry for Level and most Harford County Fire Departments is adequate [personal protective equipment]," Gallion said. “While we feel bad for those that have had to cancel events, our priority now is protecting our members and serving the community as best as we can during this health crisis."

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