Elizabeth Swindells

On Saturday, January 20, 2018, the Thurmont Community Ambulance Company held its annual awards banquet in the new Thurmont Event Complex on Strafford Drive in Thurmont. A wonderful meal was graciously prepared and served by the young volunteers of the Rocky Ridge Progressive 4H Club. A fun time was had by all, while celebrating all of the individuals who work so hard and sacrifice so much to serve the community.

The ceremony started with an address from President Lowman Keeney. Following an introduction of the honored guests, Keeney went on to thank the members of the ambulance company for their service and sacrifice. “Our community is one big family. We do the best that we possibly can with the amount of calls, volunteers, and equipment that we respond to every year.”

Chief Dennis “DJ” Ott then delivered the Chief’s address. He summed it up in fourteen words: “Nothing’s changed; It’s all the same. We do the same thing day-in and day-out.”

Over the course of 2017, their vehicles traveled 46,328 miles, they ran 803 medical calls, and received 288 trauma, 44 fire, and 112 non-emergency calls. Chief Ott then reported on the magnitude of Colorfest and the staff and resources necessary to accommodate the crowds that attend. “Eighty-six patients and six transports in two days—that is the busiest two days we have to deal with. We accomplish that by staffing four ambulances, two medic units, two ATVs, and four first-aid tents. It takes about twenty-two individuals to continuously cover the operations of that. It makes us a lot of money, but causes me a lot of headaches with paper work.” He went on to acknowledge those who are currently in training and those who have completed training in EMT, EVOC, Fire 1, Fire 2, and paramedic school.

Some of the highlights of 2017 included sending two ambulances to Washington, D.C. for the presidential inauguration. They also provided coverage for the lifeguard challenge at Cunningham Falls Park, the Rocky Ridge Carnival and Guardian Hose Company Carnival, the Frederick Fair, and the demolition derby. They also attended the parades for Guardian Hose and Rocky Ridge, Thurmont Community Fun Fest, and the Town of Thurmont’s open house, in addition to various sporting events. This was the Company’s first year attending the National Fire Academy for Sons and Daughters’ Day. It was a busy year, to say the least. “This year is no different than last year. We are busy and we keep getting busier. We increased our calls by 200 and volunteer numbers are dwindling. We are going to keep moving on and doing the best we can.”

Following a presentation and report by Venture Crew 270, awards were presented. Individuals were recognized for their operational and administrative support: Jenn Frushour (304 calls), Rose Latini (176 calls), Brooke Kennedy (127 calls), Cole Mercer (118 calls), and Renae Coolidge (85 calls) were recognized as being the Top Five Responders. Chief Dennis “DJ” Ott presented the Chief’s Award to Brooke Kennedy. She joined in November of 2010, then became an EMT in 2011. Once she started training, she never stopped! She completed several classes, including Fire 1, Hazmat, rescue tech, EVOC, and Fire 2. She has held a line officer position for two years. She has put in countless hours to serve the Thurmont Ambulance Company and the community as a whole.

In addition to the Operational, Administrative, and Chief’s Awards, another prestigious award was granted. President Lowman Keeney presented Jim Wolf with the President’s Award. Jim Wolf is a former certified EMT and has served in different aspects and held many roles and responsibilities for the Company. He has served on the board of directors and contributed numerous hours for the Company.

Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird held the honor of swearing in the new 2018 officers. The 2018 Administrative Officers are: President Lowman Keeney; Vice President Eric Stackhouse; Treasurer Judy White; Assistant Treasurer Dennis Ott, Sr.; Secretary Joyce Stitely; Assistant Secretary Shirley Stackhouse; and Directors, Tim Wiltrout, Rose Latini, Jim Humerick, Glenn Muth, and Dave Place. The 2018 Operational Officers are: Chief Dennis Ott, Jr.; Assistant Chief Jenn Frushour; and Lieutenants, Brooke Kennedy and William Ott.

Delegate Kathy Afzali was also in attendance. On behalf of the Frederick County delegation, she presented Chief Dennis “DJ” Ott and President Lowman Keeney with an award, recognizing the Thurmont Community Ambulance Service for serving the health, welfare, and safety needs of Northern Frederick County and the community for over fifty years, while responding with fast, professional, and well-trained teams.

Congratulations to each and every award recipient. Regardless of whether one is operational, social, or administrative, it takes everyone to make the department run. As Chief Dennis “DJ” Ott said, “We are here as one big family, and this is what we love to do.”

2018 Administrative Officers: President Lowman Keeney; Vice President Eric Stackhouse; Treasurer Judy White; Assistant Treasurer Dennis Ott, Sr.; Secretary Joyce Stitely; Assistant Secretary Shirley Stackhouse; and Directors, Tim Wiltrout and Dave Place.

President Lowman Keeney presents Jim Wolf with the President’s Award.

Chief Dennis “DJ” Ott presents the Chief’s Award to Brooke Kennedy.

Photos by Elizabeth Swindells

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