Chesapeake Beach, MD  – The men and women who comprise the North Beach Volunteer Fire Department (Company 1) had much to reflect upon when summarizing 2017. During the company’s annual Awards Banquet and Installation of Officers, members applauded each other, cheered at several check presentations and fondly remembered four individuals who passed away last year. The banquet’s master of ceremonies, Maryland Veterans Affairs Secretary George W. Owings III, led the gathering in singing Happy Birthday to Clara Mae Buckmaster, longtime company auxiliary member who died last July. Other Company 1 members whose passings were noted were Jack Dorsey, a past president; Richard Mister, a life member; and Charles “Chip” Norris.

Elected officials had plenty of praise for the responders. “You will never find a more reliable fire department,” said North Beach Town Councilman Mike Benton. County Commissioner Mike Hart commended the volunteers for their diligence in maintaining the pricey apparatus used to respond to emergencies. State Delegate Mark N. Fisher spoke of his and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s commitment to assure Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP) and Hometown Heroes benefits are funded for all responders. Maryland Senate President Mike Miller promised that funding for a replacement fire boat for Company 1 would be provided by the state. Back in January, Company 1 officials reported that they had “successfully signed a build agreement with Moose Boat Manufacturing for our replacement fire boat. The new fire boat will be 46-foot catamaran style. This boat will significantly improve the marine emergency response capabilities not only for Calvert County but the surrounding jurisdictions.”

Company 1 Chief Joey Keller announced during the awards ceremony that the department has been “scratch-free” for an entire year.

Service awards were presented to Orval Thrasher and Ronnie Morris, who have both been members of the company for 50 years. Several life-saving awards were presented to responders who answered calls when local residents struggled for their lives. Top responders for fire and emergency medical service calls were also recognized. Captain Pat Osburn was the top EMS responder in 2017 (503) and David Sanders was 2017’s top fire responder (603).

The department’s Larry Cox Award was given to F/Sgt. Billy Agambar. The James Buckmaster Award was given to Matt Weber. The Jerry Salmon Award was presented to Rob Wyatt and Eddie Humphreys.

The event’s invocation and benediction were given by the Rev. Faith Lewis of Mt. Harmony/Lower Marlboro Methodist Church. Music was provided by K&S Productions. David A. Barrett II catered the banquet.

A slideshow depicting Company 1’s 2017 activities was provided by Justin Kivett. 

The 2018 Company 1 officers were sworn in by Southern Maryland Volunteer Firemen’s Association President Dale Bowen. 

Contact Marty Madden at