Abingdon Fire Co. remembers late chief Espey at annual banquet

FiresCecil CountyDavid Graham

During their annual awards banquet Saturday, members of the Abingdon Fire Company took time out to honor the memory of a longtime former chief who died last year.

In addition to remembering the late Lewis Espey, who had 58 years of service as a fireman, a memorial candle was lit to also remember his wife, Francis, and George Sills, Albert Kilduff and George Morgan, who also died in the past year.

A special Couple Award was also established in the Espeys memory and was presented for the first time to Joe and Ruth Tolliver by Bob Ellis and Shiryl Eller, the Espeys' children.

In addition to serving as Abingdon's chief and also in every line officer capacity during his career, Lewis Espey was a member of the Maryland State Firemen's Association and Harford Cecil County Firemen's Association halls of fame.

"Lew was held in high esteem throughout his career as a member of the Abingdon Fire Company for his devoted and loyal service," read a tribute to Mr. Espey in the banquet program. "Lew could always be counted on to support not only our field mission but also the many committees and function that supported our fire companies progress."

Damian Clark was named Firefighter of the Year and Jessica Chandler was named EMS Person of the Year.

The fire company also gave 60 years of service recognition to Sis Riley and Ruth Anderson.

President's Awards were given to Jerry Anderson Jr., for outstanding service as quartermaster; Bill Sewell, for outstanding service as legal advisor; Tom Shultz, for outstanding service as treasurer; and to Susie Tingler, for outstanding service as EMS QA Officer.

Past Chief Awards were given to Karen Zeiler, for organizing and conducting operations classes, and to Cassandra Kilduff, for organizing and conducting CPR classes both in-house and for the community.

Steven Strawbridge was recognized as a Harford-Cecil Firemen's Association Hall of Fame inductee.

The company also recognized the late Don Allen Sr. as an Honorary Life Member, after he died just shy of 15 years of active service.

Abingdon Fire Company handled 1,497 fire calls in 2012. The top 10 fire responders were Theodore Spruell, 729; Jesse Spruell, 721; Steven Muccioli, 518; Monti Arrington, 485; Brian Frantz, 422; Eric Lopes, 80; Charlie Williams, 377; Cubby Bair, 353; Kenny VanderWiele, 342; and Damian Clark, 332.

The company handled 3,879 ambulance calls in 2012. The top EMS responders were Aleq Lewis, 404; Steven Duvall, 186; Jushua Sagan, 139; Theodore Spruell, 122; Chavez Wilson, 117; Kyle Graff, 108; Daniel McKinney, 101; Stanley Strawbridge, 99; ToLoria Spruell, 85; and Scott Fears, Steven Muccioli and Katlyn Schuler with 71 each.

Line officers for 2012 include Fire Chief Monti Arrington, First Assistant Chief Bill Frank, Second Assistant Chief Rob Glassman, Safety Officers Jeremy Drehmer and Justin Eberle; Captain of House 1 Chris Breslin and Captain of House 3 Keith Autry.

EMS Officers include EMS Assistant Chief Valiere Glassman and EMS Captain Robert Henderson.

Administrative officers are President Charlie Williams, Vice President Don Averton Laird, Second Vice Presidents Tammy Brosh-Hall, David Graham, James Kohl, Herbert Lee, Bob Moulsdale, Ken Patrick, Dale Pennington, Dave Ryan, Bill Sewell, Steve Strawbridge, Ruth Tolliver and Chris Wolski, Secretary Linda Dousa, Treasurer Tom Shultz and Chaplain Nancy Raders-Pehrson.

Leading the Technical Support Unit are Vice President Rose Krajca, Assistant Vice President Denise Kropp, Recording Secretary Patricia Wright, Treasurer Robin Jorgenson and Chaplain Sheryl Kohl. This unit put in more than 700 service hours helping with emergency support, training drills, fire prevention, fund-raising, meetings and hall rentals.

The Board of Directors consists of Chair Stephen Yealdhall and members William Dousa Jr., Monti Arrington, Jerry Anderson Sr., Donna Averion-Laird, Kenneth VanderWiele and Charlie Williams.

Richard Brooks III, director of emergency services for Cecil County, was the banquet master of ceremonies. Among the guests were State Sen. Barry Glassman, Del. Susan McComas and County Council Members Dion Guthrie and Mary Ann Lisanti. Entertainment was by M.C. Productions.

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