Scaggsville, MD – In almost every fire station across the country, the kitchen table is so much more than just a place to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner - it is the center of a fire station's activity during each 24-hour shift. Firefighters hold their morning shift transition meeting around the table, and they often have training sessions there throughout the day. The kitchen table is a place to spread out the local newspaper with a cup of coffee or to read the newest orders and other updates about the department. It's a place to talk about recent calls - what went well and what could be improved next time. And, of course, it is a place to swap war stories about the most memorable calls in the past.
Thanks to two members of the community, the crew assigned to Station 11 has a brand new kitchen table to serve as the heart of their station. Citizens, John Beck and Devery Lomax, designed, built, and delivered a custom wood table to the crew. Beck, an accomplished woodworker, and Lomax, a mechanical engineer, started the project in November 2011.
Firefighters from Station 11 were attending the Fall Festival at Hammond Elementary School and just happened to mention to Beck that they were trying to design and build a new kitchen table that would be the centerpiece of their newly-renovated fire station. They did not know about his woodworking talents or his willingness to help them out. As he listened to the firefighters talking about their ideas for a new table, Beck, who hails from a fire department family in Pennsylvania, recalled the many times when firefighters from Station 11 invested time in the community around their fire station. “I wanted to give something back to the firefighters so I offered to donate the table,” Beck said. Since this is no ordinary table, he enlisted the support of his friend and neighbor and the team of Beck & Lomax began their work.
Built to seat 10, the table features lists of the firefighters currently assigned to the station and logos for the fire station, the Department and the Local 2000. And, to take the very functional table design "over the top," the bottom of the table is ringed with miniature LED lights which lend an interesting ambiance to the room during meals.
As a gesture of thanks, Beck and Lomax were treated to a traditional fire house dinner. Beck encourages other to stop in to meet the men and women at their local fire stations and see how they too can help.