Local Spotlight: Anne Arundel County Professional Fire Fighters
Anne Arundel County Professional Fire Fighters never stop working to make our community the best it can be. Even when they are building camaraderie playing team sports, they are supporting local charities and causes. One such example is the Metros, the Local’s softball team. The following was written and submitted by District 1 Representative, Fire Fighter Phillip Miller.
“I started out as a bat boy for the Metros about 40 years ago. My father John Miller played for & managed the Metros team. He spent 36 years in the AACO Fire Dept. During that time Ricky Reckner & Reid Raynor played for & managed the Burnouts team. Both teams back then would go to Detroit MI & Portland ME to play in charity tournaments. Both teams would also always participate in Prince Georges County's Muscular Dystrophy tournament the weekend after labor day each year. In 1972 or 1973 my father started a charity football tournament for a child that was burned in a house fire in Harwood Lothian. After that football tournament for 10 to 12 years during this time the football tournament was changed to a softball tournament. My father & Ricky Reckner ran this charity softball tournament in Anne Arundel County called the Burn Center tournament each July. All proceeds went to Burn Center Foundation. When I was hired 21 years ago Ricky Reckner was my Lieutenant at our Armiger station 30. In 1996 myself and David Cox would manage the metros while Matt Thorn & Jaime Swinimer managed the Burnouts. Now Brad Schreifer & Phillip Hunt manage the Burnouts. Myself, David Cox & Jaime Swinimer manage the metros. This year a combined Burnouts & Metros team played in Frederick County's Kevin Jenkins Memorial softball tournament & The Anne Arundel County Police public safety tournament in August. The Metros and the Burnouts played in Prince George's County's Muscular Dystrophy tournament in September. As firefighters we are a family. Being able to relax during our off time and play a game that we love almost as much as the job. It takes our family to the next level. Over the years there have been many friendships made in Detroit MI, Portland ME, New Orleans LA, Houston TX and other states throughout the United States. As well as Canada too. A team from Mississauga Canada would paint a grape fruit to look like a softball and you wouldn't know the difference until it was hit. For me I was brought up through this department and I had the pleasure to attended many of these tournaments not only as a kid but as a player as well. My favorite tournament has to be Prince George's County's Muscular Dystrophy tournament each year. The friendships we as a local have made will be cherished forever. Each year Muscular Dystrophy sends children ambassadors to the tournament. What is priceless about this tournament is to see the looks on their faces as representatives from each team give them high fives as they go around the bases during the opening ceremonies. Mattie Stepanek was a long time ambassador of this tournament until he passed away from this disease in June of 2004. He is loved by so many. He always had a smile on his face and a word of encouragement to give. "Softball with the brothers & sisters of Local 1563 for some great causes.It does not get much better than that Hott".”