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A History of the Kent Island Volunteer fire Department

Nov 10, 2010 06:30PM ● By Anonymous

The tradition still continues as it does in many communities with volunteer fire departments across America. When the sirens ring, the men who are firemen and paramedics drop whatever they are doing to rush to their stations and help put out a fire or help in some type of emergency.

As writer Brent Lewis documents in his new book, “A History of the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department,” the Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department (KIVED) has helped protect people and property in the Kent Island community on Maryland’s Eastern Shore since 1947. Before that time, if a house caught on fire, frequently it burned to the ground.

According to Lewis, in 2009 Station I (KIVED) responded to 1,166 calls--the most of any fire department in Queen Anne’s County. Seventy-eight of those calls were fire related, 714 were rescue or emergency service runs, 216 were unintentional false alarms, 21 were boat calls, and 13 were unspecified responses. What happened during those years, between the initial establishment of a volunteer fire department for Kent Island and the busy station that KIVED was to become?

The rescue stories, the danger, the excitement and the history-- all are recounted in Lewis’s book published by The History Press, illustrated with original photographs. “When people deal with traumas and tragedy on a regular basis,” writes Lewis, “one of your release valves is a fine tuned sense of humor. Dolores Timms oldest sons Robert, “Bobby”,was a member from 1975 to 1993, has a number of favorite stories. This is one of them:

We were coming back from a call one night, and Billy Moore kept complaining his chest felt tight. We said what do you mean Billy? Are you having chest pains? He said, ‘ No my gear just feels tight. I must be getting fat.’ Well he’d jumped up in the middle of the night and threw something on to answer the call. When we got back, he started taking off his bunker coat off and he had on one of his wife’s nightgowns. We laughed so hard at him, but that kind of stuff happens when you get up in the middle of the night to put out a fire. “

Not only are there stories, but there’s even a few recipes. This is author Brent Lewis’ second book for History Press,, his first published in 2009 was Remembering Kent Island, Stories from the Chesapeake. Published in paperback and 125 pages in length, copies are available online and at local bookstores.

Lewis has written several articles for What’s Up? Eastern Shore, often on historical topics.