Greenwood Events
Thursday, February 17th, 2000
Firefighter also loves hunting sports
By Bill McCauley
Arnold Blankenship, Greenwood volunteer fireman, joined the department in early 1994.
"It was Butch and Finn (Jones) who really encouraged me to join, and I've been here ever since," he said. "We do a lot of hunting together and we've been friends most of our lives."
Born in Milford, young Blankenship traveled considerably before entering the third grade at Woodbridge. Growing up he worked on the farm of a friend of the family. As a result he didn't play much ball. "Had to work to help the family out," he recalls. His father, Arnold Blankenship, served as a police chief in several small towns in Delaware. His mother, Alice, and his father make their home in Seaford.
Young Blankenship moved up quickly in the ranks of the fire company. His fellow firemen elected him fire recorder which automatically put him on the board. After serving two years as fire lieutenant, he moved up to captain for one year.
After taking additional training, he moved up to third assistant chief last year. Other than driving the ambulance a couple of times, he has never served as an attendant.
The past year witnessed a momentous event in the lives of Blankenship and his wife, Dawn, a native of Greenwood. They had their first child, Zachary Arnold Blankenship.
At this point in time Blankenship's fire training has included incident management, which he describes as training in large scale fire situations.
Blankenship has also served the fire company as command person. The command person has to pretty well stay in the district for the week he is on duty, except while at work.
Formerly the command person had to use his own vehicle. A little over two years ago the company acquired a 1984 four-wheel drive Chevy suburban for that purpose.
Its white color makes it highly visible and its green stripe is appropriately Greenwood.
One of Blankenship's great loves is hunting. He admits that he goes "about every day when I'm off work and not with my son. My wife gets a little mad at me."
Blankenship's introduction to hunting came at the age of 4, when his father took him out squirrel hunting. "Dad couldn't wait to get me in the woods, and now I want to get my own son out there."
The growing boy's hunting experience consisted of more than the flat lands of Lower Delaware. From the age of 9 his father took him every fall for a week's hunting in Michigan. A family member had a tract of 900 acres with a cabin in the woods located a mile from the house they lived in. "We hunted in snow quite a bit - sometimes knee-deep."
Blankenship said that in the company of his father and uncle he dressed his own deer. His biggest was a ten-point he dressed out at 206 pounds. He's also had several of his waterfowl kills mounted.
Blankenship has vivid memories of a fire he assisted in putting out. Early in his second year with the company, a two-story house caught fire at night in the direction of Ellendale. That town's fire company had responded but their men and air packs had become exhausted after entering the structure.
Blankenship said that upon entering the building he and other Greenwood firemen couldn't see their hands in front of them because of the smoke. "I got to the head of the stairs. Butch was behind me with the line. There was a water bed in a bedroom upstairs. It burst and just about washed us (Butch Jones and Frank DeFord) down the stairs. The water was pretty warm. The mattress casing had melted loose. Dawn and I had a water bed at home, but not like this!"
That was the first "hot" fire the young fireman had been involved in. On top of all else it was cold that night.
Blankenship serves on the new truck committee along with Tommy Jones, David Haymond, David Minton (the new chief engineer), Mike Moran, Gordon Schrock, Ricky Short and Ron Hurst Sr. The committee was begun this year and was appointed by president Clay Yocum to get specifications to replace engine 3, the 1983 Ford 1000-gallon pumper, along with engine 9, a 1959, 1000-gallon pumper.
Committee members will go out to the Pearce plant in Michigan, the state where a growing Delaware boy hunted deer.
"Several of our recent engines are Pearce, but we're still looking around," Blankenship said.
"We'll go out there and sit down with them and draw up a plan telling them what we would like in apparatus. They will come up with the cost. Our last truck was a rescue truck by Pearce. This will be my first trip to help select a vehicle."
Blankenship did not say whether he will add a hunting trip to the 900-acre Michigan tract he knew as a boy.
Blankenship left school at the end of the 11th grade to go to work for Burris Foods in Harrington, where he's been the last eight years.
"When waterfowl season comes in, I travel all over the whole state. I get the limit."
One can well believe Arnold Blankenship gets the limit out of life, too.

Senior center plans are set
The Greenwood CHEER Senior Center has planned the following events:
Thursday, Feb. 17 - A trip to Harvest Years in Dover, leaving at 10 a.m. Grocery shopping in Harrington on return trip.

Friday, Feb. 18 - A trip to Greenwood Library at 10:30 a.m. for a program by Martha Green.

Monday, Feb. 21 - Center closed - Presidents' Day.

Tuesday, Feb. 22 - Shopping trip to Ames in Seaford, leaving at 10 a.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 23 - Free blood pressure check at 10 a.m.Games.

Thursday, Feb. 24 - A shopping trip to Paradise Market, leaving at 10 a.m. Grocery shopping after lunch.

Friday, Feb. 25 - Crafts with Vicki at 10 a.m.

Monday, Feb. 28 - Bible study at 10:30 with the Rev. Paul Stauffer.

Tuesday, Feb. 29 - Shopping at Roses in Seaford, leaving at 10 a.m.
The AARP is offering free tax service for seniors over 55 every Friday in February, March and April from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., by appointment only. Call 349-5237.

AARP defensive driving classes will be held March 22 and 23, 9:30 to 2:30, with a lunch break. Cost $10 per person. Call 349-5237 to sign up.Firefighter also loves hunting sports