Fire Department ham supper set for May 2

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Fire Department began their annual calls on East Middlebury homes last week to sell tickets for their 9th annual Ham Supper, to be held May 2, at the Waybury Inn, serving continuously from 5 to 8 p.m.
“People really look forward to this tradition,” Middlebury Fire Chief David Shaw said. “It’s a way for us to visit our community and thank them and they thank us,”
The Middlebury Fire Department maintains two recently upgraded stations, including the major training station in downtown Middlebury, on Seymour St., and a station in East Middlebury. Fire equipment, including trucks, rescue apparatus and uniforms are covered by an operating budget and capital reserve fund of 2 cents on the property tax approved by Middlebury voters. In late October the community will see the arrival of a new ladder truck to replace its current one, which is over 25 years old.
Firefighters do much more than fight fires. They train for and perform a wide variety of other rescues, including human and animal searches and safe returns, hazardous waste spills, and river and ice incident responses. They work in concert with other emergency responders, including Middlebury Police Department, Vermont State Police, Middlebury College Campus Security and Middlebury Regional Emergency & Medical Services (MREMS).
With so many calls coming in, the Middlebury Fire Department hopes to fill out its current force of 34 volunteers to 50. They are a community based paid, on call department. 2016 saw an ever-increasing demand for their services.
“We answered 230 calls for service with 58 different types of events from chimney fires to car accidents to rope rescues,” Shaw claimed. “This past December we saw our first fatal house fire in over four decades. Two of our members, Assistant Chief Pat Shaw and Captain Paul Garrow, risked their lives to make entry and locate the owner.”
Volunteers meet the second Wednesday of each month to review business and train. Several members dedicate hours of additional time in subcommittees planning training, reviewing equipment needs, maintaining their website, planning the Ham Supper and more. Fire Chief Shaw encourages anyone over 18 years old interested in learning what’s involved in becoming a firefighter to learn more by speaking with firefighters at the Ham Supper or by visiting www.middleburyfire.org, where a membership application can be found.
“We want you to join our family,” Shaw shared. “Yes, it will take some sacrifice of time and energy, but the good things in life always do. It’s worth the proud feeling of helping friends and neighbors in your community in their time of need.”
Middlebury Fire Department members look forward to thanking the community for its support at its Ham Supper and the upcoming Memorial Day Parade when visitors may visit the main station to view Middlebury’s technical equipment as well as its rich firefighting history. Ticket prices for the supper are Adults $15, children 10 and under $5 and kids three and under free.

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