On The Highway We've Got Your Back

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Editors Column

Editors Column 4-9-18

Monday, April 9, 2018

A Memorable Day for the CVVFA

Saturday April 7, 2018 was a memorable day for our fine, old organization. It was on that day that we came together at the National Fire Academy Chapel in Emmitsburg for a special event honoring the 20th Anniversary of the two men whose death stimulated the creation of our highway safety educational effort.

The families and friends of Joseph Kroboth, Jr. and David Goode came to the chapel for a memorial service remembering the lives of these fine men who died within months of each other back in 1998. David a member of the Lionville Fire Company was struck and killed in an incident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This tragedy occurred on March 9, 1998. Joe, the Fire Police Captain of the Volunteer Fire Company of Halfway, was struck and killed on Interstate 81 near Hagerstown, Maryland.

It was not long after Mr. Kroboth’ s death that members of the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Fireman’s Association came together in an effort to identify the reasons for the death of these two men. This meeting led to the publication of our traffic safety white paper. It was the creation of this document, and others which followed, which allowed us to focus on the dangers and problems that our emergency service forces face when operating on the highways of our nation.

Two of the critical leaders in the development of this new effort were our Project Manager Steve Austin of Newark, Delaware, and Jack Sullivan, our Director of Training from Virginia. It should be noted that Jack served with David in Chester County PA fire service. Their knowledge, dedication, hard work and direction have allowed us to focus our efforts and develop a series of meaningful programs.

It is important to note that our work has led to literally thousands of people being trained in highway safety operations across America and in Canada. Our on-line training program has greatly expanded our ability to deliver training to a far wider audience.

Remarks were made at the memorial service by Dr. Dennis Onieal, Deputy United States Fire Administrator, William Minahan, Chief of the Lionville Fire Company, Chief Joe Kroboth, III, Joe’s son, and Chief Ron Siarnicki, Executive Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. The memories shared by Chief Minahan and Chief Kroboth were particularly impressive. A critical thought was added by Ron when he reminded us that we were gathering to remember the lives of the men who were lost, as well as mourning their passing.

After the service, those attending were led by a bag piper to the Fallen Firefighter’s Monument for a wreath laying, where CVVFA Chaplain Charlie Barnhart led us in a prayer of remembrance. The people who were there spent some time after the prayers walking the area and remembering.

All in attendance were invited to a dinner at the Vigilant Hose Company on Main Street in Emmitsburg. More than 120 partook of the dinner which was provided by Atlantic Emergency Solutions and served by the dedicated Ladies Auxiliary of the Vigilant Hose Company.

Just before dinner, Steve Austin and Jack Sullivan presented all in attendance with memorial challenge coins which they had developed to commemorate the occasion. After a period of friendship and refreshment, people adjourned to the National Fire Heritage Center on South Seton Avenue for an evening of socialization.

As one person who has been a part of the program since nearly the beginning, it was a great day to honor two men who lived lives of service to their communities. It was also a great day to pause and ponder the success of our efforts over the past two decades. It was also a day to catch our breath and prepare to move into the future and take our efforts to more members of the police, fire, EMS, and towing communities. We are also going to move on to our next target audience; the driving public.

Please join with us in our efforts.

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