The Vigilant Hose Company’s 137th Annual Banquet—normally held in January of each year to recognize and present awards to department members for the previous year—was canceled this year due to COVID and the social distancing requirements. The officers of the department decided to recognize those individuals who would have been recognized at the January banquet. Awards were presented at the monthly department meeting in March.
Chief Chad Umbel selected and presented the 2020 Chief’s Award to the DFRS career staff who are currently working at Station 6. Chief Umbel selected the DFRS staff in deep appreciation for their individual talents and concerned dedication so generously given to the success of the Vigilant Hose Company. These DFRS staff included: Scott Johnson, Brian Hames, Matt Hughes, Chad Owens, Mitch Krysiak, and Alex Carnathan.
President Tom Ward selected and presented the 2020 President’s Award to Scott Maly. President Ward’s submission for this award included the following: “To call this year’s President’s Award recipient a “go-getter” would be a major understatement. Joining the VHC in 1998, after relocating to the Emmitsburg community with family, he quickly became involved with the VHC family and never turned back. With the drastic change in how we were able to operate this past year, this member kept his commitment to his duties and elected office and never let the pandemic stop him. While still maintaining his active operational role as a firefighter, he became a go-to guy for countless fundraising operations. When our in-person fundraising efforts were halted (twice), he got busy figuring out ways to keep the much-needed flow of cash into our reserves while still participating in any event or sale he could. He can be found in the station several times a week, unclipping cash from ticket entries in what has become one of the most popular fundraising events anywhere around the area: the “6 of Hearts.” He is respected by all members across the organization. For his commitment and contributions to the VHC, I am pleased to present the 2020 Presidents Award to Scott Maly.”
Both Chief Umbel and President Ward selected and presented the Member of the Year Award for 2020 to Steven Hollinger. The submission for this award included the following: “As 2020 began, nobody thought of the immense changes our operations and fundraising efforts would see. What was set to be a standout year with growth in fundraising and the purchase of a new tower ladder, we quickly, along with everyone else in the fire service, realized that we would have to drastically change the way we operate. 2020’s member of the year is somebody who is seen mostly behind the scenes but has one of the greatest impacts on the Vigilant Hose Company. He could regularly be seen in his office tending to invoices, bills, and banking inquiries, or perhaps playing a game of solitaire. He spent a great deal of time figuring out an entire year’s worth of anticipated revenue losses to submit to the county treasurer’s office. Also maintaining communication with the county government and submitting invoices and requests for reimbursement every month. His devotion to the Vigilant Hose Company makes him stand out, even without a pandemic, but his extra effort and behind-the-scenes work make him a true candidate for this well-deserved recognition. The 2020 Member of the Year is Steve ‘Little Man’ Hollinger.”
The Hall of Fame Award—which is the highest award for the Vigilant Hose Company—was presented to Guy A. “Gabe” Baker, III. His nomination included the following: “This individual joined the fire department January 11, 1983, at the age of 19. He was presented with Life Membership at the January banquet in 2009. He was an active firefighter and first responder until just a few years ago. Early on in his years with the department, he held the offices of assistant secretary and assistant treasurer. This individual participates in just about every fundraising activity of the fire department and most Auxiliary events. He is a ‘regular’ in the kitchen for the Friday evening Bingos, assisting even when it is not his scheduled week. He has served as the co-chairman of the Annual Spring Fling and is again co-chairing the event this year, as it is being conducted virtually. He usually serves as the applicant for the Special One Day Licenses required by the Frederick County Liquor Board when serving alcohol at events. In addition, he has completed the Alcohol Awareness and Crowd Manager Training, all of which is required when having fundraising events where alcohol is served. This individual is often called upon to place orders at Jubilee to assure that the fire department and Auxiliary have all the necessary supplies needed to make their fundraisers successful. It is for these reasons that Gabe Baker was selected as the Hall of Fame inductee for 2020.”
The 2020 Training Award for the most formal training was presented to Elizabeth Beaton. Training for the most in-house training drills was presented to Josh Kehne.
The Ten Top Fire Responders for 2020: (from left) Matt Boyd (10th); Alex McKenna (9th); Josh Brotherton (8th); Charlie Rustigian (7th); Josh Kehne (5th); Cliff Shriner (4th); Frank Davis (2nd); and Jim Click (Top Responder). Not pictured: Matt LeGare (6th) and Dave Zentz (3rd).
Five Top EMS Responders for 2020: (from left) Frank Davis (Top Responder); Josh Brotherton (4th); Tom Ward (5th). Not pictured: Dave Zentz (2nd) and Patrick O’Hanlon (3rd).
Three Top Fire Police Responders for 2020: (from left) Sam Cool (Top Responder); Steve Orndorff (2nd); Lynn Orndorff (3rd).
President Tom Ward (left) presents Scott Maly with the 2020 President’s Award.
Individuals are presented with their Years of Service Awards: (from left) Josh Brotherton (10 years); Tom Ward (10 years); Mike Working (25 years—you get life membership into the department); Bill Boyd (30 years); Ed Little (30 years); Carl White (35 years); and Wayne Powell (40 years). Not pictured: Brandon Murdorff and Dave Zentz (both 5 years); Jennifer Stahley (10 years); John Damskey and Tom Vaughn (both 25 years); Monroe Hewitt (50 years).
President Tom Ward (right) presents Gabe Baker with the Hall of Fame Award.
Pictured are President Tom Ward; 2020 Member of the Year Recipient Steve Hollinger; and Chief Chad Umbel.