Allegany-Garrett Counties Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association History and Past Presidents

Organized September 15, 1912, eight companies, namely Frostburg, Mt. Savage, Chapel Hill, Cumberland Hose, Good Will- Lonaconing, Midland, Tri-Towns, and Potomac # 2, organized the Allegany County Association. Peter McFarland, Good Will Lonaconing, served as the first president and eighty-five men and women representing twenty-eight departments in the two county areas have followed in his footsteps. Four men have served the office of Present more than one term: Felix Foote, Sr., of Good Will-Lonaconing served in 1921 and 1940; John Neder, Mt. Savage, served in 1925 & 1931; Walter Wittig, Frostburg, served three consecutive terms from 1934-1936; and Donald B. Ware, Baltimore Pike, served 1997 & 2003. Currently twenty-one Past Presidents remain active in the Association. 

In order to strengthen and unify the voice of the firefighters of the Allegany and Garrett County areas, the two county associations, the Allegany County Association, and the Garrett County Association joined together to form the Allegany-Garrett Counties’’ Volunteer Firemen’s Association on August 14, 1930. In order to reflect the growing number of rescue squads joining the Association over the years, the Association formally changed its name to the Allegany-Garrett’ Counties Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association on June 2, 1990. Today the Association represents thirty-eight companies, twenty-six from Allegany County and twelve from Garrett County. 

This year's annual convention at Potomac #2 marks the Association's 100th annual meeting, with the first being held in Frostburg in 1912. This Association has hosted the Maryland State Firemen's Association Convention in 1951 and 1955. Eight members of the Allegany-Garrett Counties Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association have served as President of the MSFA. They include John Stump, Cumberland, in 1898; Peter McFarland, GoodWill-Lonaconing, 1908; Conrad Herpick, Cumberland, 1919; James McAlpine, GoodWill-Lonaconing, 1922; Cromwell Zembower, LaVale, 1951; David E. Kirk, Bowling Green, 1953; Robert H. Shimer, Potomac #2, 1988 and Robert E. Knippenburg, Midland, 1998. The first Secretary for the MSFA from the bi-county area came in the person of John Stump, Cumberland, in 1896, being elected during the annual convention held in Cumberland. Since then, four brother firefighters have followed, namely Harry Smith, Cumberland1907-09; Edward Stevenson, GoodWill-Lonaconing, 1911-13; Charles Davis, Potomac #2, 1913-15 and William Weagly, Potomac #2, 1916-17. The Allegany-Garrett County region has provided eight treasurer's for the MSFA spanning a time period almost continuously from 1909-2003. William Wilson, Midland, served the longest tenure with 30 years from 1945-75 followed by David E. Kirk, Bowling Green, fronm 1975-90. Robert Saville, Bowling Green, served from 1990-2001 and John Shuhart, Barton, served the Association from 2001-2003. J. Francis Fatkin, Clarysville, served a 26 year tenure on the MSFA Board of Trustees, Robert H. Shimer, Potomac #2, served eight years, including two years as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Following Shimers untimely death in 2003, Robert E. Knippenburg was appointed to fill the unexpired term from 2003-04. 

Again this year, there were several members of the Fire and Rescue Services in Allegany and Garrett Counties that have distinguished themselves by serving the Maryland State Firemen's Association as officers and members of various committees. This year nineteen members served in positions, namely, Rodney W. Bowser, Friendsville, Executive Committee, Garrett County Transportation Coordinator; Patricia A. Bowser, Northern Garrett Rescue, Volunteer Company Assistance Fund Board Secretary, Incentives Program, Garrett County Points System Coordinator and Garrett County Statistical Committee Representative; Gunter Corrado, Mt. Savage, Safety Committee; Timothy F. Dayton, Potomac #2, Chairman-Maryland State Fire Prevention Commission, Training Committee; Jim Decker, District 16, Safety Committee; Ron Grabenstein, District 16, Allegany County Transportation Coordinator; Tim Growden, Bedford Road, Standards/NFPA Overview Committee; Gene Kidwell, GoodWill, Safety Committee; Barbara Knippenburg, Midland, Maryland State Fire Prevention Commission; Robert E. Knippenbnrg, Midland, Past President, Western Regional Coordinator for Legislative Committee, Residential Sprinkler Initiative Committee; Dave Kyle, Flintstone, Vice-chairman Sgt-At-Arms; Rodger Long, Oldtown, Safety Committee; Dennis Mallery, Oldtown, Public Relations Regional Correspondent; Gerard McGann, Mt. Savage, Safety Committee; Sharon Paugh, Kitzmiller, Basic Life Support Sub-committee; Michael S. Phillippi, Deep Creek, Garrett County Legislative Representative; Donna Struntz, Bowling Green, Western Maryland Jr. Miss Fire Prevention Regional Coordinator, Safety Committee, Cancer Support Network; and Calvin Walbert, Cresaptown, Chaplain. 

Of the twenty-nine departments providing the Association with its president, Baltimore Pike has had four serve; Barton, eight; Bedford Road, three; Bloomington, two; Bowling Green, three; Bowman's Addition, two; Clarysville, two; Corriganville, three; Cresaptown, four, Cumberland (Chapel Hill/Cumberland Hose), five; Deep Creek, two; Deer Park, three; District 16, three; Ellerslie, two; Flintstone, two; Friendsville, one; Frostburg, nine; Grantsville, three; GoodWill-Lonaconing, eight; LaVale, one; Luke, one; McCoole, one; Midland, nine; Mt. Savage, three; Northern Garrett Rescue, one; Oldtown, one; Orleans, one; Potomac #2, four and Shaft, four. The Allegany-Garrett Counties Volunteer Fire & Rescue Association holds its annual convention no earlier than the last Thursday in May and no later than the second Thursday in June as not to conflict with the Maryland State Firemen's Association convention and conference. Departments select a member to serve on the Executive Committee, which meets monthly between conventions at various stations throughout the bi-county area.

1912

Peter McFarland*

Good Will

 

1963

Luther E. Metz*

Barton

1913

E.B. Prichard*

Frostburg

 

1964

William Clatterback*

Deer Park

1914

Joseph Abbott*

Good Will

 

1965

Willys Wilson*

Bedford Road

1915

C.J. Herpich*

Cumberland

 

1966

Russell Carder*

Shaft

1916

Harry L. Smith*

Cumberland

 

1967

A. Mike Walters*

Corriganville

1917

George W. Beck*

Westernport

 

1968

J. Stuart Kuhnie*

Deer Park

1918

Joseph Crowe*

Frostburg

 

1969

Donald Ware*

Baltimore Pike

1919

John W. Gray*

Cumberland

 

1970

Donald Greig*

Frostburg

1920

George Frenzel*

Barton

 

1971

Francis G. Philpot*

Shaft

1921

Felix Foote*

Good Will

 

1972

Robert Knippenburg**

Midland

1922

Andrew Dick*

Good Will

 

1973

James R. Decker, Jr**

District 16

1923

Ralph E. Grant*

Cumberland

 

1974

Calvin Growden*

Bedford Road

1924

James O. Small*

Barton

 

1975

Robert H. Shimer*

Westernport

1925

John Neder*

Mt. Savage

 

1976

Donald Broome

Bowling Green

1926

Jack Hart*

Frostburg

 

1977

William P. Miller*

Barton

1927

Frank C. Ort*

Midland

 

1978

Robert Stevenson*

Midland

1928

Alvin H. Rankin*

Frostburg

 

1979

Hugh C. Speir*

Shaft

1929

Nelson W. Russler*

Cumberland

 

1980

Dennis Hamilton*

Midland

1930

Joseph Robertson*

Midland

 

1981

Harry Michael

Grantsville

1931

John Neder*

Mt Savage

 

1982

Frank Clark

Ellerslie

1932

Elmer Kight*

Frostburg

 

1983

Ronald Grabenstein**

District 16

1933

Joseph Shuhart*

Barton

 

1984

Larry Thompson

Bowling Green

1934

Walter Wittig*

Frostburg

 

1985

Calvin Walbert**

Cresaptown

1935

Walter Wittig*

Frostburg

 

1986

George Blanco*

Midland

1936

Walter Wittig*

Frostburg

 

1987

Randy Helmick

Flintstone

1937

Edward Muir*

Midland

 

1988

Aaron Winters**

Shaft

1938

J. Donald Wilson*

Barton

 

1989

Dennis Bonner**

Bowman’s Addition

1939

Joseph Carter*

Mt. Savage

 

1990

Richard Ware*

Baltimore Pike

1940

Felix Foote*

Good Will

 

1991

Glenn Ford

Ellerslie

1941

John Prichard*

Grantsville

 

1992

Gerard McGann**

Mt. Savage

1942

William H. Smith, Sr*

Westernport

 

1993

Rodney W. Bowser**

Friendsville

1943

Homer Ambrose*

McCoole

 

1994

Woodrow Nightingale Sr

Good Will

1944

William A. Wilson*

Midland

 

1995

Michael Phillippi**

Deep Creek

1945

Harland H. Lasher*

Midland

 

1996

Jeremy Jack

Bowman’s Addition

1946

Harry R. Walters*

Corriganville

 

1997

Donald B. Ware

Baltimore Pike

1947

William Chappell*

Barton

 

1998

Harry W. Stone, Jr *

Deep Creek

1948

Joseph Wenrich*

Cresaptown

 

1999

David L. Kyle**

Flintstone

1949

Cromwell C. Zembower*

LaVale

 

2000

Patricia A. Bowser**

Northern Garrett

1950

Harry R. Wilson*

Baltimore Pike

 

2001

Janet Elbin**

Orleans

1951

Charles Price*

Bloomington

 

2002

Michael A. Simmons**

Accident

1952

Joseph Stuckey*

Corriganville

 

2003

Donald B. Ware

Baltimore Pike

1953

W. Carl Laywer*

Bedford Road

 

2004

Steven J. Kesner

Cresaptown

1954

David E. Kirk*

Barton

 

2005

Timothy Dayton**

Potomac

1955

Delbert Valentine*

District 16

 

2006

Robert G. Ritchie **

Good Will

1956

George Comp, Jr*

Deer Park

 

2007

Kathryn Y. Bever **

Bloomington

1957

Paul Haberlin*

Frostburg

 

2008

Clarence B. Broadwater**

Good Will

1958

J. Francis Fatkin*

Clarysville

 

2009

Dennis R Mallery**

Oldtown

1959

William H. Smith, Jr*

Luke

 

2010

Eric L. Clark, Sr

Clarysville

1960

Ivan Wilson*

Midland

 

2011

 Barbara A. Knippenburg **

   Midland

1961

David Powell*

Frostburg

 

2012

 Clarence B. Broadwater **

   Good Will

1962

Charles E. Crawford*

Bowling Green

 

2013

 Gene Kidwell **

   Lonaconing

 

 

 

 

2014

 Barbara Knippenburg **

   Midland