HCVFA Hosts Political Candidate Meet and Greet
The event drew 18 candidates for local office, and nearly 100 fire service attendees
Harford County, Md. – The Harford County Volunteer Fire & EMS Association strengthened its ties with state and county government leaders through a legislative forum night held Monday, Oct. 17, 2022.
The event at the Level Volunteer Fire Company in Havre de Grace, Md. drew 18 candidates running for elected offices, as well as a crowd of nearly 100 representing the HCVFA’s 12 member fire companies. The association organized the face-to-face gathering to facilitate better communication and understanding between the local fire service and its government representatives.
“The association’s goals were to educate the candidates about who we are, our various programs and express our concerns for the future,” said HCVFA President Rusty Eyre. “With a successful night, I believe we were able to accomplish this and much more.”
Fire service attendees included members of all ranks, from leadership officers to junior firefighters and auxiliary support volunteers.
The association’s program featured its Honor Guard, chaplain’s pledge and invocation, and an opportunity for each candidate to speak for three minutes about their background and how they would plan to support public safety. Topics included challenges in volunteer recruitment and retention, and the importance of sitting down with local fire service membership to hear the current concerns in their district.
The event included display tables for each of the HCVFA fire companies and committees, including Recruitment & Retention, Fire Prevention, the Cadet Program, the Judy Hinch Benevolent Fund, the Fire Incentive Program, Training/MFRI, Honor Guard, Budget, and the Ladies Auxiliary. The tables were staged to encourage verbal engagement between HCVFA members and the political candidates, and sparked valuable discussion.
The association rounded out the event with fire apparatus on display outside, as well as its fire prevention safety house, which was available for attendees to tour inside and see firsthand how to prevent a fire, or worse, how to escape from one.
The HCVFA extends its thanks to all the candidates for taking the time to come out and spend the evening with them, as well as Level VFC for hosting and its Ladies Auxiliary for providing the food and drinks for the event.
The political candidates in attendance included County Executive candidates Bob Cassilly and Blaine Miller III; County Council President candidate Patrick Vincenti; County Council District A candidates David Woods and Dion Guthrie; County Council District C candidate Tony Giangiordano; County Council District D candidates James Reilly and Jean Salvatore; County Council District F candidates Curtis Beulah and Jacob Bennett; State Senator District 34 candidate Christian Miele; State Senator District 35 candidate Jason Gallion; House of Delegates District 34 candidates Steve Johnson, Teresa Walter, Susan McComas and Gillian Miller; and House of Delegates District 35 candidates Mike Griffith and Teresa Reilly.
The HCVFA was pleased with the turnout and the supportive responses from the candidates.
“We look forward to working with the next administration,” Eyre said, “and all those elected into office to continue the growth of our volunteer system in Harford County.”
The HCVFA is comprised of 100 percent volunteer fire departments and includes more than 1,500 firefighters, emergency medical personnel and administrative members that serve the community’s fire and life safety needs. To join or learn more about the volunteer fire service in Harford County, visit harfordvolunteer.com or follow Harford Volunteer on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.