by Lisa Tome
Everyday, the members of the Community Fire Company of Perryville work to save lives and/or property.
Now they are ready to have a little fun.
The company will host the first ever Perryville Fire Company Muster on Saturday, July 19. The event will feature friendly competitions for both firefighters and emergency medical services providers.
Brenda Buchanan, who is a longtime company member and mother of Fire Chief Shawn Buchanan, worked with fellow company members Sue and George Hornbarger to create new fundraising ideas for the company.
"The needs of the community have grown and it's not cheap to run a fire company," said Brenda Buchanan. "And with the economy, donations are down."
Some of the company members attended a muster in Wilmington a few years ago. An all-female team from Perryville collected a win in the Bucket Brigade category. So they decided to stage a similar event, on a smaller scale for the first year, in Perryville. The fundraising part comes from the team entry fees. Firefighters will compete in the bucket brigade, midnight alarm, tug-of-war, ladder climb, and engine pull categories. For EMS, there will be bandaging/splinting, patient extrication, team based megacode, mass casualty assessment, and EMS Hazmat awareness.
Pre-registrations are being accepted. Teams and individuals may also register on muster day at 9 a.m. The competitions will begin at 10 a.m. and likely run until about 3 p.m. Cost for five-member teams to compete is $20 per event. Individuals may pay $5 per event.
The volunteers have worked diligently to attract teams to compete. They sent more than 400 invitations via social media. They also visited fire companies in Baltimore and Harford counties to issue invitations.
In addition to the competitions, there will also be vendors for food and beer. Ladies Auxiliary members from North East and Perryville will team up to prepare and sell food. There will also be educational stations including a 911 simulator, car seat checks, and more. There will also be an apparatus display and a 50/50 raffle.
"This is community pulling together in a positive way," said Buchanan.
George Hornbarger explained that company members are hoping to make this an annual event. They hope that future proceeds will go to the Captain David R. Barr, Jr. scholarship fund. Barr was a member of the company. He died in November after being struck by a vehicle while working at an accident scene directing traffic. He was the company's first ever line of duty death.
Admission to this family-friendly event is free. Satellite parking will be available at Perryville Middle School and on Ikea Way.
For more information or to register for the muster call Brenda Buchanan at 443-309-9524 or 410-642-6961 or Sue Hornbarger at 443-783-3439. By email contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The muster is a rain or shine event. Those who attend are asked to bring a lawn chair for sitting.