69th Annual SMVFA Convention in Ridge!
By Chief Christy Ridgell
April 30, 2016

The Southern Maryland Volunteer Firemen’s Association (SMVFA) held their 69th Annual Convention in Ridge last week. On Friday, April 29th, Darlene Wood of the Ridge Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary (RVFDA) was installed as President of the SMVFA Ladies Auxiliary and on Saturday, April 30th, Johnny Wathen of the Ridge Volunteer Fire Department (RVFD) was installed as President of the SMVFA. This is only the third time in SMVFA history that two members from the same company were installed as President during the same year!

On Saturday, April 30th, the Convention commenced with an honorable Memorial Service paying tribute to those members throughout Southern Maryland who had passed away during the past year. After the Memorial Service concluded, the SMVFA meeting and installation followed. The following members were installed:

President – John E. Wathen, Jr. (Ridge VFD)
1st Vice President – Dale Bowen (Huntingtown VFD & RS)
2nd Vice President – Andrew Spalding (Newburg VRS)
Secretary – Darby Byrd (Dentsville VRS)
Treasurer – Phil “Heavy” Ridgell (Ridge VFD)
Chaplain – Mike Bowen (Prince Frederick VFD)

On Sunday, May 1st, the day started with a parade in Ridge. There was a slight rain delay, but that didn’t keep the parade watchers from gathering. Ambulance 48, our antique Cadillac unit, won a trophy for “Best Appearing Ambulance Over 25 Years Old and Out of Service.” Ambulance 496 followed the Cadillac in the parade route and tossed out candy to the parade watchers. 496 also came away with a trophy for “Best Appearing Light Duty Ambulance.” Both pieces of apparatus that were placed in the parade won “Best Appearing” trophies – very commendable!

The Ridge Volunteer Rescue Squad (RVRS) was asked to coordinate the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Contest while RVFD conducted the firefighter games. Chief Christy Ridgell, Assistant Chief Debbie Drury, Lieutenant Mandy Purdy, and special judge Sterling Myers of St. Leonard VFD and RS proctored the trauma scenario where a patient fell from a 40 foot scaffolding and sustained numerous injuries. Participating in the contest were units and crew members from Hollywood VRS, Prince Frederick VRS, and Huntingtown VRS). Once all crews had completed the scenario, the judges decided that the 1st place trophy would be awarded to the Prince Frederick VRS. Congratulations!

It was a very successful Convention and we send our sincerest congratulations to the incoming officers!

Photos courtesy of Ron Bailey, the Bay Net