by Geoff Fox
A small parade of 16 pieces of fire apparatus made their way down Main Street this past Saturday, August 3, as they headed to Kirkwood Park for a fire muster and display.
The parade was led by the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association banner, president, and hose cart pulled by members.
Apparatus included Aetna Hose Hook and Ladder, Newark, De; Keyser, WV; Good Will Fire Co., Lonaconing, MD; Longmeadow Volunteer Fire Company in Hagerstown, as well as units from Berkeley Springs, Great Cacapon, McConnellsburg, and Hancock. Murphy’s Irish Brigade with the Tri-State Band was also in the parade, which retired fire chief and CVVFA President Greg Yost called a “special treat.”
In the middle of the parade were pieces of antique apparatus, which Yost said were privately owned.
Yost said there were vendors and a display by Maryland State Highway Chart Personnel.
While the CVVFA’s convention was held in Berkeley Springs this past weekend, the next two will be held in Williamsport and McConnellsburg.
Host companies are no longer required to hold a parade during the convention it is their option.
“I added the muster this year because parade attendance has been getting lower and lower,” Yost said.
When asked if Berkeley Springs or Hancock were to hold a future convention, would there be another muster or parade.
Yost replied he hoped it would be continued but “it is really up to the convention host company to decide.”
With the parade and muster being the first one, Yost said it was a “good first one” and “very small.”
He said antique apparatus owners and vendors were unsure how things go, however.
“I had a lot of other ideas to make it better, but they did not work out,” Yost said.
He chalked that up to other events going in the general area, which kept fire companies occupied and unable to attend.
There were some complaints about the muster being in Kirkwood because people in town could not walk to it.
“Kirkwood is probably the town’s best kept secret,” Yost said. “It is a beautiful park with a lot of different activities available. There was plenty of space to hold this event.”
Yost hopes Hancock will be able to sponsor another muster and parade.
“Although this one lost money, I am confident it could be improved and expanded to be a profit maker for the fire company and an enjoyable event for the local residents,” he said.