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Hayden Hahn of Thurmont (pictured above) has earned the National Junior Angus Association’s (NJAA) Bronze and Silver awards, according to Jaclyn Upperman, education and events director of the American Angus Association® in Saint Joseph, Missouri.

Hahn is the ten-year-old daughter of Chad and Nikki Hahn. She attends Thurmont Elementary School and is a member of the NJAA and the Maryland Junior Angus Association.

She has participated in local, state, regional, and national shows and showmanship contests. At the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS), Hahn participated in the photography, livestock judging, skillathon, quiz bowl, and poster contests. She also participated in the mentoring program in 2016.

She has submitted weight data to the Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR®) and consigned cattle at the Maryland Angus Event.

The Bronze and Silver awards are the first two levels of the NJAA Recognition Program that began in 1972. Junior Angus breeders must apply for the awards, then meet point requirements in many areas of participation before receiving the honors. Applicants are evaluated in areas of junior Angus association activities and leadership, participation in showmanship, contests and shows, using performance testing to improve their herd, and their progress in producing and merchandising Angus cattle.

The NJAA promotes the involvement of young people in raising Angus cattle, while also providing leadership and self-development opportunities for the nearly 6,000 active members nationwide.

Blair Garrett

In a town entrenched in fire history, training, and safety lies a facility dedicated to the preservation and protection of valuable fire information and memorabilia.

Between the vintage fire trucks and hand-pulled hose wagons, the development in fire protection has come a long way over the past century. 

The advances in sprinkler technology, in particular, have revolutionized the way homes are protected, and often times prevented from extensive fire damage.

There are a few different types of sprinklers that have become popularized for residential and industrial use over the years. The pendent sprinkler, similar in appearance to a pendent necklace, hangs down from the ceiling to disperse water across the room, dousing flames and giving civilians ample time to safely escape.

The sidewall sprinkler, true to its name, fights fires in a wall-mounted position.

The upright sprinkler, fit with a design to avoid being knocked around or damaged by ladders or moving parts, is commonly found in industrial workplaces and is fit with a dry system to prevent the water from freezing in a time of need.

All of these different, but necessary, designs operate similarly, but are uniquely fit to provide protection in all sorts of situations. Several of these sprinklers are on display inside a built-to-scale model home in the Vigilant Fire Company. 

The importance of the sprinkler system has been cemented in the history of fire safety, but it has never been more prevalent in society and more important than it is today. With the apex of technology at its peak, there are more fire hazards in residential and industrial settings than ever before. 

“Everything inside of an office or a home is all extremely combustible and very toxic when it burns,” National Fire Heritage Center Historian Wayne Powell said. “Today, everything is basically gasoline in a solid state.”

Fortunately, the advances in technology have left us with a virtually fail-proof way of protecting the lives of citizens, as well as firefighters arriving on scene to battle flames. “There has never been a sprinkler system that has failed if it was properly designed, properly installed, and properly maintained,” Powell said.

While fire protection and prevention laws are not perfect, much has been done over the years to implement life-saving utilities, particularly in Maryland. “If you were to buy a home in Maryland, you would have to put in a fire sprinkler system,” stated Powell.

The same goes for new businesses, which have regulations set in place to protect workers, with functional, monitored sprinkler systems; because, without them, first responders cannot always arrive on scene before the real damage occurs.

“Sometimes in a fire, the people are dead before we even get the call,” Powell said. “You’ve got alarm time, response time, and set up time to attack. So, it can be a long time before we’re actually able to make an attack on the fire, and people will perish in the interim.”

The hope for the near future is to have legislation to ensure buildings are fitted with operational sprinklers and maintained to a standard suitable for the protection of residents inside. The use of combustible lightweight materials for the structure of buildings is also a concern with modern architecture. 

However, it is possible sprinklers are moving in a new direction, possibly away from the standard ones found throughout the United States. Though water damage from a pendent or sidewall sprinkler is not ideal, there is nothing to save if fire is allowed to run rampant through a home.

“This is a mist head sprinkler,” NFHC Archivist Frank Schmersal said. “This is the future of sprinklers. It sprays a mist that disperses across the flames, doing less damage than the water and giving people a chance to escape.”

Although sprinkler development has been rapidly growing over the past few decades, there are still great improvements that can be made. Decade after decade, the designs and efficiency of sprinklers get better and better. One thing is for sure, while there is still work to be done, firefighters will be able to rely on sprinklers to provide them valuable rescue time for years to come.  

Wayne Powell explains the intricacies of commercial sprinkler systems.

A piece of The National Fire Heritage Center’s evolution of the sprinkler.

Mount St. Mary’s University (MSMU) President Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D. announced today that the Bolte Family Foundation will donate $3 million to help expand and renovate the Knott Academic Center, home to the Richard J. Bolte, Sr. School of Business.

“My brothers and I, through the Bolte Family Foundation, wanted to recommit to the Bolte School in honor of our father,” said Frank Bolte, C’87. “Our father inspired us in our business to be committed to our people and to higher education. Our company’s culture emphasized community service and had a family feel, just like being at the Mount.”

Richard J. Bolte, Sr., founder of BDP International, a global logistics and transportation company, was a lifelong supporter of the Mount, serving on the university’s board of trustees and receiving an honorary doctorate degree for his service to the university in 1992. All seven of Bolte’s sons attended the Mount: Richard Bolte Jr., C’79, trustee emeritus; John Bolte, C’82; Tim Bolte, C’84, trustee; Frank Bolte, C’87; Mike Connors, C’91; Bill Connors, C’89; and Rob Bolte, C’92. Other Bolte family members who are alumni of the Mount are Sheila A. (Breschi) Bolte, C’85, Richard J. Bolte III, C’08, and Erin R. “Rosie” Bolte, C’17. The Bolte and Connors families in 2011 recognized their father, who passed away in 2006, with a generous gift to name the Richard J. Bolte, Sr. School of Business. The family sold BDP in late 2018.

“Mount St. Mary’s deeply appreciates the Bolte family’s devotion to their father’s legacy and investment in the Mount,” President Trainor said. “The Mount is experiencing student enrollment growth and academic program expansion, and this gift will assist us in creating additional classrooms, conference rooms and faculty offices as well as a Bloomberg Classroom Laboratory. The addition and renovation will also allow the Mount to develop more partnerships in areas such as logistics and forensic accounting to further our mission of creating ethical leaders who lead lives of significance.”

The $7.5 million Knott Academic Center expansion and renovation project is also expected to be supported by a more than $3 million capital grant from the state of Maryland. The project includes construction of an approximately 12,140 square foot addition and renovation of the 49,074 square foot existing building.  Work will commence this summer and is anticipated to be completed by Fall 2021. The upgrade will include enhancing the learning environment and building new classrooms, a Bloomberg Classroom Laboratory and faculty offices.

Marotta/Main Architects, based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, designed the addition and renovation plan.

In researching facts related to some fire and rescue banquet reporting recently, it almost escaped our notice that several of our community’s fire and rescue volunteers received recognition by the 2018 Frederick County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association. Some awards have been reported in The Catoctin Banner by their department but many missed our coverage. Please take a moment to congratulate the following for their dedication and service to our community.

Robert E. Albaugh of the Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company received the Charles H. “Mutt” Deater Apprentice of the Year Award; David Zentz of the Vigilant Hose Company earned the Firefighter of the Year Award; the Graceham Volunteer Fire Company received a Fire/Rescue Departmental Training Award; Elyssa Cool of Vigilant Hose Company received the James H. Stavely Fire Prevention Award; James Click of Vigilant Hose Company received the Michael Wilcom Officer of the Year Award; Joshua Brotherton of the Vigilant Hose Company received the Millard M. “Mick” Mastrino Instructoe/Safety Award; Allen “Frank” Davis of the Vigilant Hose Company received the Mumma Outstanding Service Award; the Thurmont Community Ambulance Service, Inc. received the Outstanding Unit Award;

Bonny Hurley of the Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company, Michael Stull of the Lewistown District Volunteer Fire Company, Paulette Mathias of the Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company, and Austin E. Umbel of the Vigilant Hose Company were each inducted into the Frederick County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association’s Hall of Fame.

Congratulations to each of these dedicated public servants!

Grace Eyler

“I’m like the bird that couldn’t follow directions, and he decided to just wing it,” joked Pastor James, as he provided a light-hearted invocation for the Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company’s (RRVFC) annual banquet held on January 24, 2019. Members of Company 6 filled in the RRVFC’s banquet area in Rocky Ridge, ready to enjoy the evening with friends, family and neighbors to celebrate their hard work in 2018.

RRVFC lost two members during 2018. Lenard T. King, Sr., who served as an active member of the fire company since 1968. Lenard served as a fire prevention officer for Montgomery County, as well as president of the Maryland State Fireman’s Association from 1985 to 1986. He then spent many subsequent years serving as secretary for the organization. Lenard passed away February 1st, 2018.

George Anzelone passed August 27, 2018. He joined the fire company in 2016 and the RRVFC Auxiliary in 2017. A past president of the Thurmont Senior Center, George enjoyed volunteering his time to help out where he could.

President Dale Kline, a member for fifty-four years proudly stated, “This marks our 70th year of Rocky Ridge Volunteer Fire Company.” Rocky Ridge is currently one of five fire companies left in Frederick County, that still runs only on a volunteer status. Dale mentioned, “It might not mean a lot to a lot of you, but if you stop and think about what you have to pay in taxes if these people weren’t volunteers and this equipment was not paid for by the community, you can imagine what your tax bill would be.” He thanked the community for all of their support.

Dale reminisced on the successful fundraisers the company put on during the past year. Every year, the weather can really affect the outcome of the carnival. Fortunately, with only two nights of rain during the week-long event held at Mt. Tabor Park in Rocky Ridge, people still made their way out to grab a bite to eat. Another very successful fundraiser that is held twice a year is the Country Butchering & Breakfast. Other events that were recognized were Ridgefest, monthly Bingo, and the Santa Detail and Workshop. “It’s unbelievable what a community can do when they set their hearts and efforts to it,” said President Dale Kline.

Mrs. Betty Ann Mumma joined the President at the front of the room. As President of the Ladies Auxiliary, Betty Ann explained to the hall that this year Buddy Stover would be spearheading the “25 Club Raffle,” a dinner and drawing to benefit the fire company. This past year, the auxiliary cut back on the bingo events and that impacted the amount of money that was raised. “We plan to bounce back this year,” Betty Ann said with a big smile.  She then presented President Kline with a check for $10,000 to help with funding new equipment and tools necessary for the fire company to operate in the future.

This year, the RRVFC Auxiliary had a long list of accomplishments. Some of which included, preparing and serving 4 Butchering Dinners and 2 Pancake Breakfasts, preparing 181 creme pies for Easter, preparing and processing 800 pounds of chicken, 34 country hams, 180 fruit pies and 256 creme pies for the carnival. ‘Sixx girls’ made 36 peanut butter pies and the Auxiliary matched their donation with another 36 to sell at the carnival.

The president stated, “We’re always looking for new members.” He recognized families have busy schedules, which makes it harder and harder to find new members. However, RRVFC continues to grow year by year by 3-4 new members. Most volunteer their time on the social end, however they would like to gain more support on the operational side.

A special recognition was given to a non-member, Mark Brum. After RRVFC purchased the land for the new parking lot, Mark was contracted to complete the parking lot. Due to constant rain last summer, his days were limited to complete the job. The goal was to have the parking lot complete by the parade night during the carnival. Dale stated, “Wednesday morning, they were in here doing the final stone and grading. By golly, by evening, it was ready to park on!”. He was assisted by members Ronnie Eyler and Alan Hurley.

Over the course of 2018, RRVFC kept busy running 219 emergency calls—117 of which were mutual aid, 3 service calls, 4 drills, and 13 public service details. Volunteers contributed over 1,000 hours. Out of 219 calls, Special Unit 13 was called 116 times, the second most common call was house fires, with 21 calls, and the third most frequent were vehicle accidents with a total of 13 calls. The busiest day of the week for RRVFC was Wednesday with 43 calls. The busiest month was January with 28 calls.

Linda Northrup and Bonny Hurley, who serve on the RRVFC awards committee came forward to reward the hard-working volunteers of the fire company. The first award that was given recognized an “Outstanding Junior” of the fire company. This year, Hunter Hurley volunteered 98 hours and was well recognized for his time.

The Charles Mumma Firefigher of the year award, one of RRVFC’s most prestigious awards was given to Alan Brauer, Sr. for over fifty years of service and dedication to the fire company. Alan joined the company in 1963. Since then, he has held multiple positions in the company, including secretary, assistant secretary and vice president. He was a part of Frederick County’s HAZMAT Team, and stays up to date with a refresher course every year. His nick name is “Mr. HAZMAT.” Alan has operated the dime pitch stand at the carnival since 1975. He currently serves as the captain of the Fire Police.

This year’s Robert Albaugh Outstanding Volunteer Award was presented to Helen Burrier. Helen has been a member since 1967. She served on the board of directors for several terms. Known as the “Gravy Lady,” she has been on the go for many gallons of gravy, and has contributed her time as the maker of the meringue for pies throughout the years.

Steve Wolfe received recognition for this year’s “Honor Member.” Like Helen, Steve has also served many terms on the board of directors. During the carnival, Steve enjoys helping out in the ham sandwich stand. Steve has spent much of his volunteer time helping set up for suppers and oversees the dining room for the Auxiliary’s banquets.

Denny and Paulette Mathias of RRVFC took the podium to award members with Length of Service pins. Five-year recipients were: Ed Knott, Bob Wiles, Kay Enzer and Steve Orndorff. Ten-year recipients: Rodman Myers, Bill Wachter, Jeff Reaver, Bruce Rice, Joey Youngerman, Megan Baugher, and Patt Riggs. Fifteen-year recipients included Craig Hovermale, and the Beal Family Amanda, Bonnie and Herman. Twenty-year recipients included Cindy Hart and Christine Hurley. Twenty-five year recipient was Alan Brauer, Jr. Thirty-year recipients: Ronnie Hahn and Larry Eyler. Thirty-five year recipients: Donna Kline and John Clark. Forty-year recipient: Daniel Whetzel. Forty-five year recipients: Steve Wolfe and Ed Northrup.

For the first time ever, RRFVC celebrated a member who has been a part of the company for fifty-five years. “We found out they didn’t even make pins for someone that old!” Paulette Mathias joked. Instead of receiving a pin, Alan Brauer, Sr. received a special certificate to show the company’s appreciation.

The Chief’s Award was presented by Alan Hurley. “This year has been a little busy for us, I’d like to thank all of you for your time, for being a part of our communities and thank the families,” said Alan. He recognized his fellow line officers, Captain Jim Rice and assistant chiefs, Kevin Albaugh and Luke Humerick.

Top Fire Police for the year included Alan Brauer, Sr. and Steve Orndorff. Top EMS Responders included Christina Hurley, Bonny Hurley, and Matt Moser.

Top Ten Responders were Alan Hurley, Matt Moser, Christina Hurley, Kevin Albaugh, Bonny Hurley, Luke Humerick, Wesley Burrier, Jamison Mathias, Dennis Mathias, a tie at tenth between Alan Brauer, Sr. and Buddy Stover.

Luke Humerick stood to recognize his group of Junior Members. He said, “We’ve had a great group of kids this year. They’re hard workin’ and fun to be around. They were always willing to help, no matter what the task was.” The juniors wrangled up more than 240 hours of volunteer time at the fire company and volunteering with events.

“I think he knows everyone in the Rocky Ridge area. If he doesn’t know you, you’re new.” Dale Kline commented while introducing the recipient of the President’s Award. Bun Wivell was awarded for his forty years of hard work as Treasurer for RRVFC.

Like Bun Wivell, every member has a role in the company. Whether it be managing the finances, making fluffy meringue, or managing a supper, all the members join together to support each other in their community and keep a good thing going for now seventy years—and many more to come!

2019 Officers

Linda Northrup presents Helen Burrier the Robert Albaugh Outstanding Volunteer Award.

Pictured are Bun Wivell, Alan Hurley, and Dale Kline.

Deb Abraham Spalding

The members of the Lewistown District Volunteer Fire Department held their annual banquet at their station in Lewistown on Saturday, February 2, 2019. The welcome was given by the outgoing president, Scott Martin. Chief Wayne Wachter reviewed company stats, indicating the total number of calls in 2018 was 755 consisting of 586 EMS calls and 169 fire calls. The busiest month was June with 71 calls.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 270 executed the Presentation of Colors and the National Anthem was sung by Catoctin High School students, Danielle Baker and Lily Gadra.

A memorial was held for three company members who passed away in 2018. They were Charles Michael, Flossie Layton, and Ruth Powell.

Scott Martin introduced 2019 Administrative Officers: Scott Stonesifer, President; Vicky Martin, Vice President; Karen Stull, Secretary; Mary Frances Bostian, Assistant Secretary; Vincent Schrader, Treasurer, Donald Martin, Assistant Treasurer; and Paul Stull, Steve Stull, Donald Stull, Sr., Mike Stull, Thomas Minnick, and Mike Fogle, Board of Directors; and Line Officers: Wayne Wachter, Jr., Chief; Vicky Martin, Deputy Chief; and Mike Stull, Assistant Chief.

The installation of officers was conducted by Dale Kline with the Frederick County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association.

Top Responders for 2018 were 10. Thomas Minnick (47 calls), 9. Brianna Wachter (67), 8. Frani Wachter (79 calls), 7. Mike Stull (85 calls), 6. Steve Stull (92 calls), 5. Stephanie Wachter and Donald Martin (129 calls), 4. Gerald Stull (149 calls), 3. Wayne Wachter (174 calls), 2. Beth Wachter (185 calls), 1. Vicky Martin (195 calls).

Lewistown Fire Police: Diana Bryant, Rodney Myers, Steve Stull, and Thomas Wachter were recognized.

A certificate was presented to Scott Martin for his service as President, Assistant Chief and Training Officer for 2018.

As chairman of the fundraising committee, Karen Stull presented her top ten fundraising, those earning the most LOSAP hours for fundraising: #10 Amber 141.5 hours, #9 Tyrell 146 hours, Amber and Tyrell got married in the firehouse in 2018, #8 Frani Wachter 176.5 hours, #7 Brianna Wachter 203 hours, #6 Vicky Martin 233 hours, #5 Stephanie Wachter 240 hours, #4 Wayne Wachter 288 hours, #3 Gerald Stull 304 hours, #2 Beth Wachter 309 hours, and #1 Steve Stull 355 hours.

Scott Martin shared, “We have a lot of pride in what you’re doing. This job is a true calling. We love doing what others can’t or won’t. The calling is impossible to explain to someone who is not in the Brotherhood. People most likely won’t thank us, and most of the time ignore us. We are the ones who wait for something bad to happen so we can go and fix it. The job is always changing. Training is the key. We don’t fight fires like we did years ago. It is not that fire changes, it’s the box it comes in. Buildings are built quickly and with less bulk, and that means they will fail quickly and faster.”

He presented Dedicated Service awards to several individuals for providing dedicated service to the department and the community with pride, honor, and distinction, and he stressed, “Not just this year but every year!” These awards were presented to Mary Frances Bostian, Beth Wachter, Donald Martin, Wayne Wachter, Wayne Stull, Delbert Stull, Mike Stull, Brianna Wachter and Stephanie Wachter.

Presidents Awards in recognition for hours of exemplary dedicated service were presented to Steve Stull and Karen Stull. Steve Stull is chair of the Fire Prevention committee, chair of Membership committee, the bingo caller, he runs calls, fire police, and helps with fundraising; Karen Stull is chair of the Fundraising Committee, is in the background putting in a lot of hours and makes sure food is at the ready for firefighters, even in the middle of the night.

The most emotionally touching part of the evening was when Scott Martin recognized Mike Stull for being inducted into the Frederick County Fire & Rescue Hall of Fame in 2018. Scott also acknowledged Mike’s moving into the position of Assistant Chief of Lewistown Fire Department and following in his father’s (Raymond Stull, Jr.) footsteps in these accomplishments. Scott gave Mike’s father’s Chief helmet shield for his own helmet.

Scott added, “In order to succeed in the fire service and in your own personal life in life, you have to take risks, you have to fail. You won’t be successful if you don’t do these two things. You have to have faith and take risks. What we couldn’t get to work here is working there. I spent 29 years in Frederick County Volunteer Fire Department. Though they are the best 29 years I can remember, it was time for me to move on.”

Scott gave some parting thoughts: continue to learn this job, it is always changing and if you let your guard down you will get hurt. Share your knowledge with others. Treat others how you would want them to treat one of your family members; get out the door quick or your fire will be my fire; always show a calm exterior no matter what you’re feeling on the inside, your demeanor can drive an incident in a positive or negative direction; don’t be afraid to ask questions or to ask for help, show up ready to do your job; take care of your crew; admit when you’re wrong or make a mistake and learn from it; different is not wrong it’s just different; and above all, love and enjoy your family for they are, your support system and they serve just as much as you do; life is better lived when you center it on what’s happening inside of you rather than what is happening around you; don’t think too much for you create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.

Members of the Guardian Hose Company served as the standby crew. Catering was by GT’s Catering.

Mike Stull, serving as assistant chief and on board of directors; Vicky Martin, serving as vice president and deputy chief; Wayne Wachter, serving as chief; Donald Martin, serving as assistant treasurer; Steven Stull, serving on board of directors; Mary Frances Bostian, serving as assistant secretary; Karen Stull, serving as secretary; Donald Stull, serving on board of directors; Mike Fogle, serving on board of directors; Vincent Schrader, serving as treasurer.

(above) Top Responders: Brianna Wachter (67 calls), Frani Wachter (79 calls), Mike Stull (85 calls), Steve Stull (92 calls), Stephanie Wachter (129 calls), Donald Martin (129 calls), Wayne Stull (149 calls), Wayne “Skeeter” Wachter (174 calls), Beth Wachter (185 calls), Vicky Martin (195 calls). Not pictured: Thomas Minnick (47 calls).

(above) President, Scott Martin, presents Mike Stull with his father’s helmet shield.

Photos by Deb Abraham Spalding

James Rada, Jr.

James “Pop” Hance worked for a few hours at the Carriage House Inn the day he died on December 30, 2018. He had given sixty years of his life to his businesses — the The Carriage House Inn Restaurant in Emmitsburg and the Gentleman Jim’s Restaurant in Rockville, Maryland.

When he and his then-wife JoAnn had bought the Cavalier Restaurant in Montgomery County in 1948 to open Gentleman Jim’s, it was a gamble. The Hances had seven children to support and both of them were working other jobs (Pop was a draftsman and JoAnn a waitress).

“He was a bit crazy, but he got a little inheritance from a great aunt, and they decided to buy the restaurant,” said Pop’s son, Joe Hance.

Their hard work paid off, and Gentleman Jim’s was a success. Then in 1980, the Hances decided that they wanted to open a Gentleman Jim’s in Emmitsburg, a place that they frequently visited.

The Emmitsburg Gentleman Jim’s didn’t do quite as well, and the Hances decided to change the restaurant’s theme.

“They decided to change the restaurant to a country inn after they went to an auction and bought the carriage that is out front,” said manager Kristy Smith.

The Hances spent the next three years converting Gentleman Jim’s into the Carriage House Inn. In the early years of the restaurant, the carriage was actually inside the restaurant. It opened in 1985, but business really began growing in 1990 as word spread about the great meals there. President Bill Clinton even dined there during a visit to the area.

“Pop had quick instincts,” Kristy said. “He knew what was right and what he wanted for the restaurant.”

When Pop died at Johns Hopkins Hospital on December 30 at age eighty-four, the staff took it hard. Many of them had worked for him for decades. They considered him family, which is why they called him Pop, and Pop considered them part of his family as well.

Born January 25, 1934, in Washington, D.C., Pop was the son of James and Dorothy Hance. He was the husband of Sharon A. (Alwine) Hance, to whom he was married for sixteen years. He was predeceased by his first wife, the late JoAnn (Cook) Hance, who passed in 1998.

Even after Pop retired from actively working at the restaurant, he would still come in. He had his preferred table (14) near the kitchen, where he would sit and sip a glass of wine.

“He loved to come in on weekends and listen to the piano player and put in his requests,” Kristy fondly recalled.

He enjoyed playing golf and vacationing at Myrtle Beach, where he delighted in feeding the ducks. “He would buy 50 pound bags of feed for them,” Joe said.

Pop loved spending time with his family, and was an avid fan of the Washington Nationals and the Washington Redskins.

Joe remembers his father had a great sense of humor and that Pop and JoAnn loved to dress up for Halloween.

Joe started commuting to Emmitsburg from Montgomery County to run the restaurant last March.

“I’m glad for that time,” expressed Joe. “I got to know him again during his last nine months.”

Pop was buried on January 4, 2019, at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Fairfield, Pennsylvania.

The Thurmont Addiction Commission (TAC) held its first monthly commission meeting of 2019 on January 10 at the Thurmont Town Office.  Discussions included a review of 2018 events hosted by TAC, as well as planning and scheduling for 2019 events as suggested by those in attendance at the meeting. All commission monthly meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month and are open to the public. The next meeting will be held February 14, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.

The TAC works within the community, as a community, to fight addiction. TAC’s efforts work through the three pillars: Education and Awareness, Support and Recovery, and Prevention and Outreach. Each pillar lead holds workshops and planning sessions throughout the month to address the needs of the community. Any individual interested in volunteering at events or as part of a pillar, please contact Ed Schildt at 240-285-8079 or attend a meeting.

TAC will kick off the 2019 Speaker Series on February 21 at 7:00 p.m. at the Thurmont Town Office on East Main Street in Thurmont. The guest speaker will be Teri Austin, founder of Austin Addiction and Mental Health Center in Frederick. The topic for the evening will be pain management options, education, and knowledge to support navigation through addiction and recovery.

Please join TAC for this very important speaker series and discussion on Feburary 21. Future Speaker Series dates will be April 18 and June 20, with guest speakers and topics to be determined.

The commission is currently finalizing a resource guide that will be available to the community in the near future to assist anyone looking for information and resources to support someone seeking recovery resources.

There are also preliminary plans to host fun days and sober events throughout the year. Please look for more details in the future.

TAC recognizes two important groups of organized citizens that are developing powerful programs and services in the community.

The Music is Medicine Foundation, founded by Chastity Fox, will soon open “The Path Peer Recovery Community Center,” which will provide space for professional counseling services, as well as support groups, therapeutic programs, and a connection point for the community to find many resources available. Stay tuned for more details.

TAC also recognizes the FUSE Teen Center, founded by Susan Crone (also a TAC member), that offers the youth of our community (grades 6-12) social options in a safe and supervised setting. FUSE hosts weekly events at Trinity Church of Christ, located on East Main Street in Thurmont, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00-6:30 p.m., and Fridays from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Stop by and volunteer or bring your children for a great time.

The Thurmont Addiction Commission would love to talk to your organization, team, civic group, and so forth, to share valuable insight and educational information about the disease of addiction and the path to recovery. Education and Awareness is the key component to prevention, support, and recovery. Please call Ed Schildt at 240-285-8079 if you would like a TAC team to attend your meeting or event.

Help them help you! The Frederick County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service is one service many people take for granted until they need emergency assistance. The dedicated men and women who provide this service stand ready, willing, and able to respond. While many of us hope we never need to call upon the fire and rescue service, we should take a moment and appreciate their efforts and dedication.

The twenty-five volunteer fire and rescue departments and associated special operations teams are actively seeking volunteer members to assist with operational and administrative duties. Times have changed. Fewer people live and work in the same community and the availability of volunteers willing to commit time to the fire service is declining, nationally. 

If you’re looking for a challenge, you want to develop friendships, you want to do something rewarding, you want to serve your community, or you want to help your neighbors in their time of need, the Frederick County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service needs your help! No experience is necessary and training is free.

If you are interested in volunteering, sign up at or call the Volunteer Services Office at 301-600-2281.

Deb Abraham Spalding

The 135th Annual Banquet of the Vigilant Hose Company (VHC) was held on Saturday, January 5, 2019, at the Vigilant Hose Company Activities Building on Creamery Road in Emmitsburg.

Former Company president and current member, Tim Clarke, acted as master of ceremonies and delivered an enjoyable and comical presentation.

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner was a special guest during the banquet. She thanked the VHC for “…the outstanding service you provide to the citizens of Emmitsburg and the surrounding area. You do a great job. You are a model company, and I hope that you will continue to lead the way in the county with the exemplary merger [of the Emmitsburg Ambulance and Vigilant Hose Companies].”

Emmitsburg Town Commissioner Glenn Blanchard represented the Town of Emmitsburg saying, “Thanks for everything the Vigilant Hose Company does… when I’m laying in bed at three o’clock in the morning and hear the alarm go off, I think to myself, I’m laying warmly in my bed while you go fight the fire, help with the car accidents, and take care of everything else you do to keep our community safe. Thanks from myself, the town council, the mayor, and everyone else.”

Pastor Heath presented the prayer during the Memorial Service, held for four individuals who passed in 2018 and who belonged to the VHC: Ronnie Long, John Maly, Thomas White, and Linda D. Miller.

Ronnie Long passed February 14, 2018. He was a carpenter by trade and was instrumental in several constructions, including the remodeling of the station’s kitchen, installing its first walk-in refrigerator, and overseeing the construction of the VHC’s permanent building at the Frederick Fair, which enabled the company to earn several hundreds of thousands of dollars and was a major fundraising event for years. Ronnie and his father were awarded the major renovation to the fire station in 1994, during which he went above and beyond to make sure the project was completed on time for the arrival of Tower 6.

John J. Maly passed away June 5, 2018. He was a social member of VHC, but a life member of the Independent Hose Company in Frederick. He was instrumental in the creation of the Frederick County Fire Museum and served on its board of directors.

Thomas W. White passed away August 3, 2018. He was a life member of VHC and served in many various positions. He was inducted to the VHC Hall of Fame in 1998 and was a past president of the Frederick County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association.

Linda D. Miller passed away September 17, 2018. She was a member of the former Emmitsburg Ambulance Company and joined the Vigilant Hose Company when the two companies merged. She could often be seen volunteering during Bingos on Wednesdays and Fridays.

During the banquet, Tina Ryder, outgoing president of the VHC Auxiliary, presented a check to the department in the amount of $55,000. She said, “There are many factors that have contributed to our success this year. We have had numerous new fundraisers in addition to our tried-and-true events. The teamwork and commitment that is displayed to pull off these events is incredible. Also, the activities building has allowed our events to thrive.”

Mary Lou Little, representing the Bingo Committee, indicated that the proceeds from an extra 50/50 allowed them to give $2,000 to the Emmitsburg Food Bank, $1,000 to the Seton Center Outreach, $1,000 to the Emmitsburg Lions Club Christmas Food Baskets, $1,000 to Emmitsburg Heritage Day Fire Works, $1,500 to Mother Seton School Scholarships, and $1,000 to Fire Prevention Committee for those in need of smoke detectors in the community.

During the banquet, the 2018 Officers of the company were installed. Tim Clarke said, “It is a pleasure to recognize those individuals elected or appointed by their peers who will lead the Vigilant Hose Company and its auxiliary in the year 2019.” The installation of officers was conducted by Frederick County Volunteer Service Directror, Kevin Fox.

The 2019 Officers include: (Administrative Officers) President, Frank Davis; Vice President, David Stonesifer; Treasurer, Steven M. Hollinger; Assistant Treasurer, William Boyd, Jr.; Secretary, Thomas Ward; Assistant Secretary, Eric Stackhouse; Board of Directors, Pam Bolin, Tim Clarke, Vance Click, Mary Lou Little, Scott Maly, Randy Myers, Douglas Orner, Carl White, and Dave Zentz; (Line Officers) Chief, Chad Umbel; Deputy Chief, James Click; Assistant Chief, Joshua Brotherton; Captain, Alex McKenna; (Fire Police Officers) Captain, Tom Vaughn; 1st Lieutenant, Stephen Orndorff; 2nd Lieutenant, Samuel Cool. (Auxiliary Officers) President, Patty Kuykendall; Vice President, Sharel Boyle; Treasurer, Jo Ann Boyd; Secretary, Joyce Glass; Financial Secretary, Mandy Ryder; Co-Historians, Jennifer Boyd, and Katie Davis.

Length of Service Awards were presented: 5 Years—Jarrett Boyle, Brandon Burris, and Victoria Long; 10 Years—Elyssa Cool, Jean Javor, Jennifer Stahley, Penny Stonesifer, and James Wormley; 15 Years—   Vance Click and Donna Miller; 20 Years—Scott Maly and Randy Myers; 25 Years—Doug Wivell and Dave Wilt (with 25 years, you get Life Membership); 30 Years—Tim Clarke and Steve Valentine; 35 Years—Gabe Baker, Karl Kuykendall, and Vince Boyle; 50 Years—Sam Cool; 55 Years—Austin Umbel.

Top 10 Fire Responders: Tenth Top Responder—Randy Myers; Ninth Top Responder—Vance Click; Eighth Top Responder—Tim McKenna; Seventh Top Responder—Alex McKenna; Sixth Top Responder—Josh Brotherton; Fifth Top Responder—Jim Click; Fourth Top Responder—Matt LeGare; Third Top Responder—Dave Zentz; Second Top Responder—Frank Davis; Top Responder for 2018—Cliff Shriner.

Top 10 EMS Responders: Tenth Top Responder—Patrick O’Hanlon; Ninth Top Responder—Dave Zentz; Eighth Top Responder—Elyssa Cool; Seventh Top Responder—Alex McKenna; Sixth Top Responder—Tim McKenna; Fifth Top Responder—Tom Ward; Fourth Top Responder—Cliff Shriner; Third Top Responder—Ingrid Hazbon; Second Top Responder—Josh Brotherton; Top Responder for 2018—Frank Davis.

Top Fire Police Responders: Third Top Responder—Tom Vaughn; Second Top Responder—Sam Cool; Top Responder for 2018—Steve Orndorff.

The 2018 Training Award was presented to Patrick O’Hanlon, who had the most in-house training and training conducted outside of VHC.

Cliff Shriner was awarded the David Copenhaver Driver of the Year Award for 2018.

Pam Ellison was awarded the President’s Award for 2018. As the VHC merged, Pam worked non-stop creating and updating personnel files, transferring membership, educating membership on the ins-and-outs of county programs, and made sure no one was left behind in understanding the LOSAP Program.

Alex McKenna was awarded the Chief’s Award for 2018. Alex was instrumental in preplanning major target hazards within the Emmitsburg Community and building effective partnerships with key individuals in the community. No matter what assignment, you can be assured that Alex got it done. He’s been an outstanding role model for new members while they acclimate to the operations of the company.

Mary Lou Little was awarded the Member of the Year Award for 2018. Tim Clark explained, “Eighteen months ago, Mary Lou identified a problem in the Emmitsburg Community with the delivery of emergency services. She came forward with a solution and brought with her an amazing group of individuals who were willing to give up their identity, as well as their assets, to become part of the VHC. Without a glitch, the two organizations became one, and now emergency services in the Emmitsburg area are stronger than ever.” With both organizations merged and working together, Tim continued, “We gained good business-driven individuals who put their skills together to manage a multi-million dollar corporation. Fundraising profits grew close to 25 percent since the consolidation, and she introduced us to a little game called Bingo. Through her organization, administrative, and managerial skills, and her desire to put the citizens of Emmitsburg first…” she was deserving of this award.

The highest award to be presented at the annual banquet is the Hall of Fame Award. This year, the VHC inducted William D. Boyd, Jr. and Betty Ann Baker into the Hall of Fame, as well as Brooke Damuth (posthumously).

William D. (Bill) Boyd, Jr.  has served many roles since his joining the company in 1990. He’s received many awards and served many positions for the VHC, including gaining life membership in 2015. He took his membership seriously as assistant secretary, secretary, vice-president, director, and, currently, as administrative officer. He’s very active in events, especially the Spring Fling. He also continues as an active firefighter and fire truck driver.

Betty Ann Baker has given countless hours and many years of dedicated service since joining the company in 1988. A valuable asset to the auxiliary, she has a strong family lineage who have also served the VHC; she serves as a strong matriarch within the entire VHC family.

Brooke Damuth (deceased) was born in 1932 and joined the VHC in 1949 at age seventeen. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. One of his favorite things to do each year was to work the VHC booth at the Great Frederick Fair. He passed in 2002.

VHC Treasurer Steve Hollinger was roasted and awarded a plaque for his recent retirement after twenty-seven years with the United States Postal Service in Emmitsburg.

The banquet concluded with a video of the VHC year-in-review. GT’s catered the banquet and the band First Class provided entertainment.

2019 VHC Administrative Officers

Auxiliary Officers

Line Officers

VHC’s 2018 Hall of Fame recipients were Betty Ann Baker (pictured left) and Bill Boyd, Jr. (pictured right) with VHC President Frank Davis.

Top EMS Responders

Top Fire Responders

Length of Service Award Recipients

Blair Garrett

Through a wintry mixture of sleet and snow, locals from around the Catoctin Area poured into the Thurmont Event Complex to show love and support for the Thurmont Ambulance Company during its annual banquet on January 18, 2019.

Friends, families and volunteers of the Thurmont Ambulance Company braved the icy conditions to honor and recognize the people who dedicate their time and energy to answering calls for help 365 days a year.

Food was served, laughs were had, and awards were given for several individuals who go above and beyond for citizens in need around the area. Among those recognized, a few could not make it due to the snowy tundra that blanketed the Catoctin Mountain, but the snow did not stop President Lowman Keeney from reading their names and praising their services in their absence.

The Rocky Ridge 4-H Club served the dinner for the banquet, providing everyone with a variety of delicious foods and desserts to accommodate even the pickiest of eaters. The lines for food piled up, with guests collecting around the mashed potatoes, green beans and fried shrimp.

As the 4-H kids made their rounds providing refills and entertainment for guests, President Keeney took the stage to bring attention to the banquet and give thanks to all who made the event possible.

As everyone began to settle in, bellies full and eager for things to begin, Keeney started with introductions and a welcome.

“I want to thank you all for being here despite the conditions outside.” Keeney said. “There are a few of us who could not make it tonight, but we still appreciate the all of the contributions they have made.”

Many people had and continue to have a helping hand in making the Thurmont Ambulance Company the smashing success that it is, but Keeney identified a few key players who make the company what it is today.

Chief Dennis “DJ” Ott, Judy White, Joyce Stitely, Dennis Ott, Sr., Jim Wolf, Shirley Stackhouse and the company’s top responder Jenn Frushour all got special thanks among several others for the work and efforts made for the ambulance company.

Across all members, 46 responded to calls in 2018, providing Catoctin Area residents with fire and EMS aid at all hours of the day. Of the 46 responders, one stood above all others in time dedicated and calls ran.

Jenn Frushour clocked 3,872 hours for the Thurmont Ambulance Company, running a remarkable 342 calls for patients. To put it in perspective, across a full year, Frushour logged 10.6 hours per day in total time spent for the Thurmont Ambulance Company.

“Our top responder apparently has no life, running 342 calls,” Chief DJ Ott joked.

Other top responders include last year’s Chief’s Award winner, Brooke Ott, who ran 201 calls. Hilary Blake ran 128 calls, William Ott ran 62 calls and Chris Pigula ran 55 calls.

The ambulance company responded to 1116 EMS, 50 fire and 92 non-emergency calls over the course of 2018, continuing to stay busy each and every day. “We had an average response time of seven minutes,” Chief Ott said. “Ideally, we’d like to get that to five, but that’s something we’re working toward.” With an average response time of seven minutes and a total call time of 87 minutes, it’s easy to see just how much time some of the staff and volunteers are pouring in to help the community.  

“We have a great group here, but we’re always looking for more help and more EMTs,” Chief Ott said.

Venture Crew 270’s presentation kicked off the awards.

The operational awards went off without a hitch despite absences from a few key members. President Keeney presented Dennis Ott, Sr. with the President’s award, highlighting his contributions to the community of Thurmont and all its people. “He takes an hour to get from Thurmont to Emmitsburg, but he’ll always be there for you,” Keeney joked.

A memorial service soon followed in honor of two close members who passed away in 2018 and made a significant impact over the course of their lives.

Two candles were lit by Shirley Stackhouse for the memorial service to symbolize the eternal place Russell “Lee” Fisher, Sr. and Diane Oxendale have with the Thurmont Ambulance Company. Fisher passed away in April of 2018 and Oxendale passed in June 2018.

After a moment of silence and a prayer for those we’ve lost rang through the Thurmont Event Complex, the focus shifted to the naming of the 2019 administrative and operational officers.

Lowman Keeney, Dennis Ott, Sr., Judy White, Glenn Muth, Joyce Stitely, Shirley Stackhouse, Tim Wiltrout, Jim Wolf, Jim Humerick, Dennis Stitely, Cole Mercer, Dennis “DJ” Ott, Jr., Jenn Frushour, Brooke Ott and Renae Coolidge were all named officers for the new year. Congrats to all current officers on their positions protecting and serving our community.

The 4-H Club members made their rounds once again, handing out raffle tickets to everyone in attendance, with the crowd eagerly awaiting to hear their ticket called to get one of several awesome prizes. The ambulance club had gift baskets filled with fruits, several bottles of wine and gift cards to a select few lucky winners.

The raffle wrapped up the event and capped off another successful Thurmont Ambulance Banquet, but each speaker made it clear that the contributions made by those honored do not go unnoticed or unappreciated. A sincere thank you goes out to all EMS providers in the area for your service and dedication.

Without your time and efforts, our community would not be the same.  

Fifteen members were appointed as 2019 Administration and Operational Officers. Administrative Officers include President, Lowman Keeney; Vice President, Dennis Ott, Sr.; Treasurer, Judy White; Asst. Treasurer, Glenn Muth; Secretary, Joyce Stitely; Asst. Secretary, Shirley Stackhouse; Directors, Tim Wiltrout, Jim Wolf, Jim Humerick, Dennis Stitely, and Cole Mercer. Operational Officers include Chief, Dennis Ott, Jr.; Asst. Chief, Jenn Frushour; Lieutenant, Brooke Ott; and Sergeant, Renae Coolidge.

(above, right) Despite the wintry weather, a significant crowd attended the annual banquet.

(left) One of many awards presented, Dennis Ott, Sr. presented an award to Judy White.

(right) Shirley Stackhouse lit two candles in memorial of Russell “Lee” Fisher, Sr. and Diane Oxendale.

Experience Art In Motion! ESP Performing Company’s annual showcase fundraiser is a fun and entertaining evening out for the entire community. The annual ESP Showcase Fundraiser will take place on Saturday, February 23, 2019, at 5:30 p.m. in The Marion Burk Knott Auditorium at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg. Advance tickets are $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for students. There will be basket raffles, 50/50s, concessions, and flowers available for purchase. This year (included with Main Show ticket purchase) there will be a Bonus Solo/Duo/Trio Show at 5:30 p.m., with the main show starting at 7:00 p.m.

This year’s showcase will again feature Maggie Kudirka “The Bald Ballerina.” Maggie is an amazing dancer and an outstanding young lady who was diagnosed in 2014 with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer while dancing with The Joffrey Ballet Concert Group. Maggie has been dancing since she was four years old. Maggie shares her journey and speaks to groups around the country to help bring awareness about metastatic breast cancer. Maggie also teaches master ballet classes and continues to dance while fighting this terminal disease. You can follow Maggie on her Bald Ballerina Facebook page.

The choreography and dances presented by ESP in the showcase have already won numerous awards this season. The dancers are excited to present these performances to the community, as well as continuing to travel the East Coast this competition season. ESP dancers love traveling and competing on the road, but their favorite place to entertain is at home.

“Local performances have always been my favorite events. Making the community smile though the passion we have for dance is heart-warming. I look forward to ending my very last local performance with a bang, with the best team I could ever imagine,” said Lucy Estep, senior dancer.

Mike of Mike Miller Photography said, “I love taking pictures of the ESP Performing Company at the Showcase. The ESP dancers always put on a fantastic show. Their grace, energy, and talent sure make for some beautiful pictures, but they are even more amazing live. I hope everyone comes out to see them on stage and supports the company. ESP is a wonderful gift to our community. The Showcase will not disappoint!”

Tickets may be purchased through any ESP Performing Company member or at ESP Dance Studio, 15 Water Street, Thurmont. Registration is still open for spring 2019 classes at the studio, culminating with the annual recital “ESP Visits Wonderland” at the Weinberg Center on Saturday, June 15. All levels of classes are available. ESP specializes in many types of dance, including tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, acro, and pointe. Participating in dance class is a great way to build confidence, strength, and to have tons of fun! Check ESP out on Facebook at ESP Dance and ESP Performing Company. Please support ESP Performing Company and help Keep Art Alive!

ESP Performing Company (from left): (front row) Abigail Shriner, Anna Doolittle, Tierney Burns, Laken Maniscarco, Maria Fry, Adaline Ridenour, Evie Price; (second row) Emma Strahler, Georgia Wiles, Jordan Bridgett, Mya Horman, Justin Stevens, Sofia Domingues, Marissa Smith, Olivia Gamer, Julie Beech; (third row) Olivia Ecker, Rose Weedy, Claire Daly, Valarie Witmner, Mackenzie Garrett, Kristen Felichko, Sophia Daly, Robyn Tucker; (fourth row) Jack Estep, Kaylyn Ott, Kierdyn Ott, Emily Mitchener, Lucy Estep, Lyla Zelenka.

CPT David Ellington, Asst. Professor of Military Science at McDaniel College

As we enter a new year, we think about resolutions and all of the things that we want to accomplish. As a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Instructor, I think about what I want to emphasize to the cadets in my program, how we can best conduct training this semester, and how we can continue to attract quality cadets to our program. One term that has been echoed in ROTC recruiting circles is that we need to emphasize leadership. I think this is an interesting way to phrase what ROTC is because it sums up the core of what we are living and teaching on a daily basis. Accordingly, the goal of this article is to provide information about what Army ROTC is, what we do, and invite those who think they may have what it takes to become an Army leader to answer the call to serve their country by signing on with Army ROTC.  

Army ROTC is the source of commissioning for a majority of officers serving today and has been for over one hundred years. The mission of every Army ROTC program is to recruit, train, and produce Second Lieutenants for the United States Army. In many ways, Army ROTC is like a sports team, with the goal being to prepare cadets to operate at the professional level. Less than one percent of Americans serve in the military; one in five of them serve as officers. Each year, there are over 20,000 Army ROTC cadets training on campuses across the country. Upon graduation, each will receive a commission into the United States Army, Army Reserves, or National Guard. Evaluative criteria for cadets is based on their grade point average, physical fitness ability, and demonstrated leadership as evaluated by their professors and peers.  ROTC Instructors work with cadets on a daily basis to provide mentorship and guidance to facilitate their success. 

While in ROTC, there are requirements both in and outside the classroom.  With ROTC programs spanning the nation, each will be a little different, but there are a few things that are standard across the board. In the classroom, a cadet will learn about the Army, skills like map-reading, as well as tactics and leadership. Outside of the classroom, cadets will conduct physical fitness training and learn how to apply what they have learned in the classroom.  Physical fitness training may consist of running around the campus and local area, intensive circuit workouts, or playing team sports like football or soccer.  Field training exercises are used to give cadets the opportunity to practice and apply their tactical knowledge, land navigation, and survival skills in an austere environment. Typical field training exercises take place on military training areas close to the program’s university. As part of their training, cadets are involved in planning all training events with instructor oversite. The goal of classroom and field training is to educate cadets and prepare them to succeed in ROTC.   

In addition to the on-campus training, ROTC also provides cadets with opportunities during the summer to shadow lieutenants across the Army, participate in internships with government organizations, attend military courses like Airborne School, and travel the world through the Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency program (CULP). All of this is aimed at developing a well-rounded leader. 

If you or someone you know is interested in Army ROTC, you can visit a ROTC program at any major university or go to Instructions for how to apply for a full-tuition scholarship, how to join a ROTC program, and contact information are all easily accessible on the site.

If you are currently an undergraduate college student, you can join ROTC before your junior year by attending a four-week summer course that will serve to compress the training covered during freshman and sophomore year.  College students who are already in their junior or senior year can still join ROTC, but will need to be accepted into a graduate program in order to allot them the time needed to complete ROTC training requirements. Many ROTC programs have Facebook pages and regularly post about ROTC activities and cadet accomplishments. There is no better time to take that next step than right now.

McDaniel College Cadets conducting a ruck march around the campus.

About the author: He received his commission in the Army from ROTC and has served for eight years.

James Rada, Jr.

Watching Majo jump around, waiting for Tim Duhan to throw a lacrosse ball, it’s hard to imagine that the nineteen-month-old German shepherd-Belgian Malinois mix is a trained law enforcement officer. On the job, Majo is all business, as he tests the air for the scent of hidden narcotics.

“He’s 100 percent a puppy still, and he’s also ball crazy,” said Duhan, a corporal with the Thurmont Police.

Majo is trained as a narcotics dog and has been on the job since September 2018. He came from the Czech Republic, and the Thurmont Police purchased him from Castle’s K-9 Inc., a company in Pennsylvania that imports and trains police dogs.

The town had a budget of $10,000 to purchase and train Majo, but the bill came out to be $12,600. However, the Humane Society of Frederick County donated $1,600 and Woodsboro Bank donated $1,000 to make up the difference.

“Another couple of agencies wanted to make him (Majo) a dual-purpose dog, but we got him first,” Duhan said.

Some dogs can also be trained as a patrol dog, besides smelling for certain scents. This “bite work” is left to dogs with a temperament for it and a reputation for being tough like German shepherds or Doberman Pinschers.

“The town didn’t want a dog that would bite, though,” Duhan said. “They wanted a social dog, and Majo is very social.”

Majo also does his police work well. So far, he and Duhan have been called out for scans three times, and drugs were found every time.

This comes from Majo’s daily training. Duhan not only exercises him, he trains him through scanning scenarios.

“With a dog like this, he should be doing some sort of drug training every day,” explained Duhan.

Majo takes over the position of canine cop from Buddy, a black Labrador retriever who was medically retired in May. He was running and playing when he injured himself in an accident.

“I’m not sure what happened,” Duhan said. “I saw him running down the yard and turned away for a moment. When I turned back, he was doing a somersault and hit a tree.”

Duhan rushed over to Buddy and discovered that the dog couldn’t get his front legs to work. He rushed him to the veterinarian for care. It was discovered that Buddy had permanent nerve damage to one of his legs, and it had to be amputated.

“He still could have done the job, but the town was unable to get insurance for him,” Duhan said.

Buddy still lives with Duhan, his family, Majo, and Duhan’s large Pyrennes. The dogs get along well, except they fight over toys like children. Duhan will still let Buddy do drug scans because the retriever likes the activity.

“He watches me do it with Majo, so I also let him scan,” Duhan said. “Even after being retired, I could probably certify Buddy now.”

Corporal Tim Duhan stands with Majo, a trained narcotics dog with the Thurmont Police Department.

Photo by James Rada, Jr.