At this year’s Carlisle Fire Company’s Annual Banquet, three individuals were recognized for their commitment and service to the organization and the Milford community. Sharon Deputy Smith, Lester Guyer and Brennon Fountain received the honor of Ladies Auxiliary Member of the Year and Firefighters of the Year, respectively. Serving in the auxiliary, emergency and firefighter services, the three play critical roles that support the organization’s duty to protect and serve the local community.
Sharon Deputy Smith has served in the Carlisle Fire Company for over 27 years. A family affair, her father, mother and brother were all part of the organization while Sharon grew up. A past President of the Ladies Auxiliary, Smith works professionally as Secretary at Milford School District.
“I like these boys down here, they do it all on their own time,” Smith said, referring to Carlisle’s all-volunteer Fire Department. “They give a lot of themselves, they are the ones running in when everyone else is running out. Our main goal is to keep the camaraderie together and support them as a family.”
The Ladies Auxiliary plays an important role in supporting the firefighters on a daily basis. In addition to the mental and emotional support needed, the members of the Auxiliary also raise money for the company through annual dinners, open houses and other events. Funds raised from these activities have purchased work vehicles, lights on the firetrucks and most recently a Computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system that gives the firefighters pertinent information about an alarm when they arrive on the scene. This systems helps firefights visualize a more detailed picture of what the blaze is like, including the detection of any hazardous materials.
Lester Guyer joined the Carlisle Fire Company in 1979 as a junior member at the age of 14. After serving in that role for four years, he became a regular member and has served ever since. Guyer took his inspiration growing up from members of the company like Pret Dyer and knew it was how he wanted to “give back to the community.” Guyer says that things have changed quite a bit in Milford and for the Company since he joined. He states that when he joined, the Company received about 100 alarms a year, now that number is as high as 500. An past Ambulance Captain and current Fire Recorder, Guyer remembers when car seats were first required in ambulances, for the protection of infants and children that were secured during traffic accidents. Carlisle Fire Co has a long history in Milford, DE, dating back to 1802, and Guyer wants members of the local communities they serve to learn more.
“There is a lot of history here. If you do not know what we do, get involved,” said Guyer. “The door is always open to take a look”
Brennon Founation, Controller for the Department of Agriculture, joined the Carlisle Fire Department in 1995 and has since served 22 years. His father Franklin and Uncle Kenny served in Milford and his brother belongs to the Dover Fire Company. Growing up with a family that was heavily engaged in community affairs, Brennon is proud to carry the tradition on.
“I like doing things within the community, and we have a team here,” said Fountain. “We pull together to serve the community.’
One of Fountain’s favorite memories is the campaign from Carlisle members to place lifesaving rings along local bodies of water, after the young man Deejion Fullman lost his life in the Mispillion River. “To be able to see those rings still there today is a good thing,” said Fountain.
An all volunteer organization, it is easy to see that the women and men of Carlisle Fire Department are driven by their love of community. “In addition to giving their time when they hear the whistle, they are training weekly to ensure the safety of those they serve and each other,” said Smith.
The Carlisle Fire Company has approximately 94 members and 12 pieces of equipment. The organization is currently accepting application for members in many different roles within the company. Community members can also support the organization through the Annual Fund Drive or by attending an event. There will be an Open Hose this Spring and in May Carlisle will take part in the annual statewide recruitment day for volunteer fire companies. More information can be found online at http://www.carlisle42.com.
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