The “Inside the Fire Station – Member Spotlight" this week is Darlene Neal. Darlene has been with us so long; her name is synonymous with the Chestertown VFC. She joined the fire company Ladies’ Auxiliary, as best she can recollect, somewhere about 1969. Darlene has been with us so long, most members, including this writer, a long-time Life Member, do not remember a time when she wasn’t there.
There are many moments to remember about that day. For instance, the fact that the weather today is very similar to that not so long ago day 20 years ago was extremely sobering this morning. Most people will remember exactly where they were and what they were doing that terrible day. For those that were old enough to remember the “day the world stopped turning” it will never be forgotten.
Recently, Kelley Russum was selected as our “Inside the Fire Station – Member Spotlight” to profile. Kelley joined the Chestertown VFC in 2019. Kelley comes to us from Prince Georges County, where she is the youngest of seven children. While taking care of her grandmother, she started volunteering in Anne Arundel County in 2008. In 2011, after studying at Anne Arundel Community College, she earned her Paramedic license. She worked for a private ambulance company until 2014, when she started with Queen Annes County Office of Emergency Services, working as a career paramedic.
On Monday, September 6, 2021, at 7:30 am, the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company, Kent & Queen Annes Rescue Squad, Kent County EMS, along with multiple mutual aid companies, was dispatched for the Motor Vehicle Collision with Injuries / Entrapment at Washington Avenue (Maryland 213) and Campus Avenue. The exact location proved just south of that intersection, in the 200 block of Washington Avenue, between Kent Circle & Campus Avenue.
On Thursday, August 26, 2021, at 8:24 pm, the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company, Kent & Queen Annes Rescue Squad, and Kent County EMS, along with multiple mutual aid organizations, was dispatched for the Motor Vehicle Collision with Injuries – High Mechanism, reported as Head-On, on Fairlee Road (Maryland 298) between Earl Nicholson Road & Annie Crow Road. With personnel at our station, we were able to respond quickly. Units were on-location at 8:33 pm, 9 minutes after dispatch.
Recently James “Jim” Douglas was selected as our “Inside the Fire Station – Member Spotlight” profile. Jim officially joined us in 1996, although he had been helping for several years previous. Jim is retired from the maintenance department at Washington College, where he worked for many years. There, he had been employed as a carpenter. Jim is a Vietnam Veteran, having served honorably in-country from 1969 – 1971. After processing out, he took a year off and by his own words…. Did nothing but “relax”. Jim ended up joining the Delaware Army National Guard, serving honorably for many years. He retired from the Delaware ANG as a Staff Sergeant in 1995. In his leisure time, Jim relaxes by engaging in woodworking projects of all kinds. His woodworking shop is to be admired. He has been known to help friends and family with home improvement projects.
Recently, Ms. Ada Joyner was selected as the member to be spotlighted. Miss Ada is an Associate Member, having joined the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company through the Auxiliary in 1989. Since that time, she has been extremely active on the administrative side of our operation. As with every volunteer / community service organization, there are people that can always be counted on. In that respect, Miss Ada is one of our mainstays. Over the years, her attendance record at fund raisers, and other activities in support of our firefighting / emergency response activities, is nearly 100%. Her dedication and work ethic is a force to be reckoned. This writer can remember few activities where she wasn’t in attendance. Her good-natured, relaxed manner makes her easy to work with and fun to be around.
At 5:32 pm on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 the Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company, along with multiple mutual aid companies, was dispatched for the Motor Vehicle Collision with Entrapment, reported Head-On, in the 26700 block of Morgnec Road (Maryland 291) just west of American Legion Road. First arriving was a paramedic from Kent County EMS, confirming head-on crash, with two trapped… the only occupants of their respective vehicles. Tragically, one patient was declared deceased at the scene, with the second patient pinned in their vehicle. This patient was in extremely serious condition.