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Louise E. “Alice” Long Honored at the Founders’ Circle

On Saturday, September 25, 2010 Louise E. “Alice” Long was honored at the Founders’ Circle for her more than 70 years of active service to our department and community. Her name was engraved on the Capitol Heights stone along with Chief Frank Briguglio, Magdeline Schmidt, and Oscar Poore.

Louise E. Long, better known to us as Alice, was born on June 15, 1906. She came from a family that was actively involved in the fire department. Her father Gotfried Fankhauser was one of our department’s founding members. Her brother Otto Fankhauser was a member of the fire department and her sisters, Frieda and Emma, were members of the Ladies Auxiliary. In 1936, Alice joined the Ladies Auxiliary and remained active in the department until her 100th birthday.

Alice’s history with the department has been one of honor, distinction and service to others. Throughout her tenure in the department she has spent countless hours working in the kitchen preparing food and cooking to raise funds to buy new fire trucks and to build fire stations, providing refreshments and nourishment to firefighters at major fires in the area, working on committees and tending to the many duties she so graciously accepted as a member and an officer of the Ladies Auxiliary.

When many of the department’s members were called to serve their country during World War II, Alice was one of several Ladies Auxiliary members that stepped up to help protect the community by learning to drive and operate the fire engine and to fight fires. She was not afraid of the challenge and captured the true spirit of volunteerism.

Alice served as President of the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary in 1966 and 1967. In addition, she served as Treasurer for 30 years, which is testimony to her honesty and integrity. Due to her faith in God, Alice also served many years as the Ladies Auxiliary’s Chaplain and was finally awarded the title of Chaplin Emeritus.

As you can see Alice worked hard and was a dedicated and loyal member of the department because she was committed to service to others and because it was the right thing to do. She never did it for the accolades or the recognition. However, when you are a member like Alice, those accolades and recognition come easy.

Here are just a few examples:

  • In 1996, the Ladies Auxiliary to the Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association awarded Alice a 60 year service pin. This pin had to be designed because the organization had never awarded one in the past.
  • At the 2000 annual convention, the Maryland State Firemen’s Association presented Alice with the “Honey Award” for her faithful and dedicated service.
  • In April of 2006, Governor Robert Ehrlich presented Alice with the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for Lifetime Achievement for her many years of volunteer service. She was particularly proud of this award, as was the department of her.
  • In celebration of her 100th birthday and 70 years of active service, the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department bestowed upon Alice the title “Honorary Firefighter.” Alice is the only person to receive this recognition in the department’s history.
  • Once again, being the trend setter that she was, the Ladies Auxiliary to the Prince George’s County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association had to design another service pin for Alice’s 70 years of service.
  • Upon hearing of her death in 2007 Chief Ronald Siarnicki, Executive Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, announced that an engraved brick in memory of Alice would be placed in the “Walk of Honor” at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland.