Passing of Life Member Gilbert A. Roper

With deep regret, the Westminster Fire Department announces the passing of Life Member Gilbert A. Roper. Gil served Westminster Fire Department faithfully since his start date in April 1992. Gil served as an EMS Lieutenant and EMS Captain for many years and was a firefighter and an avid fundraiser. We ask that all fire department volunteers and community members keep his wife Brenda, his brother Gus, and the entire Roper family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Members visit a long time member/employee

On Monday, August 23, some members and an engine crew took some time out to visit our long time member and for many years, a career engineer. Sterling (Pete) Petry, Sr is a resident of Carroll Lutheran Village and this past year has been extra tough with limited visitations.

Pete was a bit emotional but he and his family were appreciative of our visit. Pete’s son Ray is a past member and a career firefighter in Howard County. His grandson, Chris is a member and just graduated from the CCVESA Emergency Services Training 2020-21 training program.

While the engine here came after Pete’s retirement, he enjoyed reviewing it with the engine crew.

Congratulations – Our newest graduates from the CCPS Career and Tech Center – Emergency Services Training (EST) program

The Westminster Fire Department would like to congratulate members Danielle Wolf, Christopher Petry, and Brayden Haschert on their graduation May 31 from the Emergency Services Training (EST) Program. This program is a joint effort between Carroll County Public Schools and the Carroll County Volunteer Emergency Services Association, allowing students to obtain emergency services certifications during the school day in the afternoon for the duration of the school year. During the program, classes are held at the Carroll County Public Safety Training Center, certifying the students in Hazardous Materials, Firefighter I, Vehicle Machinery and Equipment, Site Operations, and Emergency Medical Technician. All three have been active members of the department by helping mentor youth in the junior program and assisting in ensuring the equipment is able to respond to emergencies. We are proud of their accomplishment and drive to help the citizens of Westminster and surrounding companies in Carroll County.

Training – House Burning provides life-like critical training for our firefighters

On Sunday May 30, we conducted a live training evolution on Tannery Road in Westminster.  Despite the cold temperatures and periodic rain, 50 firefighters and support personnel from 6 of our mutual aid companies participated in the training.  We were able to conduct 18 evolutions in 5 hours, giving the participants the opportunity to expand their knowledge. Several junior members participated in the training, while they were not allowed to enter the house, they were given an opportunity to work with the hose lines from the exterior. In the fire service, there are limited opportunities for live training, so we would like to thank the owners of the property for allowing us to utilize the house on the property. To allow all members and career staff to participate, Adam County Station 20 (Alpha) from Littlestown, covered our first due area, providing emergency services to the citizens of Westminster. This training would not have been possible without the support of instructors and a Safety Officer to ensure the safety of everyone who participated.  Training is a necessary part of the job and is ongoing to ensure that we provide exemplary service to the citizens of Westminster and our neighboring companies.

WFD Statement on the Resignation of Director Robert McCoy

Please read the attached statement regarding the Westminster Fire Department’s stance on the resignation announcement of Fire and EMS Director Robert McCoy.

The Jacob Thompson’s Livery Stable Fire (4/9/1883)

Tragedy struck Westminster on April 9, 1883, when Jacob Thompson’s livery stable, which was on an alley behind West Main Street at the corner of John Street, went up in flames. Four men were playing cards in one of the carriages in the livery stable. They were using a candle, set on one of the seats, to provide light. A dispute arose when one man was accused of cheating. The accused grabbed the money and ran. The other men scuffled before taking off after the man with the money. In the scuffle, the candle was knocked over and started the fire. When caught, the men claimed they didn’t know the fire had started.

The alarm sounded about 11:30 p.m. By the time the firemen arrived, the stable was fully engulfed and a strong wind was spreading the flames to neighboring structures. At the time, Westminster had no city water supply and firemen fought the blaze with their chemical engine and water carried from nearby wells. The light of the fire was reportedly observable for a radius of 25 miles. The Gettysburg Compiler claimed a number of local residents saw the glow. The Hanover Spectator said “The light of the conflagration was so vivid and intense that it illuminated the whole of the Southwestern sky . . .”

By morning the fire had destroyed 16 houses, Grace Lutheran Church on Carroll Street, two manufactories, and eight stables. Seventeen families and thirteen businesses were left homeless. Total fire damage was estimated at $135,000. Two men who had been sleeping on the second floor of the stable where the fire began perished as did a number of horses and cattle.

To read the full account of the fire, go to the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America project at https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/…/1883…/ed-1/seq-3/

Remembering Our Own- Fireman Joseph G. Hahn

Honoring & Remembering Maryland Fallen Heroes.

Westminster VFC ~ Carroll County ~ Maryland

January 26,1931

At approximately 10:00 a.m. on Monday, January 26, 1931, the Westminster Fire Engine & Hose Co.No.1 responded to the Oscar Hess residence, on Manchester State Road near Cranberry, for a gasoline stove explosion in the kitchen. The flames were quickly extinguished by the Westminster firemen. The kitchen was mostly destroyed from the blast, but the rest of the house was saved, having suffered only smoke damage and some broken window panes.

While the firemen were performing salvage and overhaul, Fireman Joseph G. Hahn suffered a heart attack and fell over. Before medical aid could be summoned, death occurred.

Fireman Joseph G. Hahn was 46 years old

The Westminster Fire Department announces the death of member Bob Ruby

January 22, 2021 Westminster, Md. – It is with deep sadness that the men and women of the Westminster Fire Engine and Hose Co. No. 1 announces the passing of Westminster firefighter Bob Ruby.

Bob left this earth to be with his beloved wife Shirley Ruby at 6:47 p.m. Friday evening Jan. 22, 2021, at Dove House in Westminster. He was surrounded by a roomful of firefighters who never left his side for a second from the minute he arrived at Dove House and held his hands through his last breath of air.

Firefighters, first responders. EMS providers, correctional officers, dispatchers, and police officers are a family. We stand behind each other, we look after each other, and we never leave anyone behind.

May Bob Rest in Peace. Brother Bob – your watch is over we will take it from here, you duty is done here, God has your place in heaven.

Funeral arrangements for Bob Ruby will be announced next week as soon as they are available. Questions text – do not call. – Text Chaplain Dayhoff 410 259 6403

Please join me in a moment of prayer

O god of grace and glory, we remember our brother Bob Ruby. We thank you for giving him to us to know and to love as a companion in our pilgrimage on earth. In your boundless compassion, console us who mourn.

Our thoughts and prayers are with our firefighter community at this time.

Those we love don’t go away. They walk beside us every day, Unseen, unheard, but always near, Still loved, still missed and very dear.

May memories of happy times sustain us, the support of family and friends comfort us, and may God’s love embrace you and your family and bring you peace.

Rest in paradise my friend. See you again someday. God be merciful to your good soul.

Thinking of you as you find peace during your journey and sending strength to your family as they mourn. I pray that peace will be found for all.

Amen

Westminster Fire Engine and Hose Co. No. 1 Chaplain Kevin Dayhoff

Westminster Fire Department’s 2021 Big Money Drawing!

Click below to watch the 2021 Big Money Drawing. Click HERE for the full list of prize winners.  Thank you to everyone who has helped us by buying a ticket and to our event sponsors.

Holiday Surprise from St John’s Church

Shift Lt. Guy Garheart and his shift personnel were surprised today with a number of food and goodie packages for the holidays. Teresa Richardson delivered the packages on behalf of St John’s Church in Westminster. The Department is always grateful for the continued community support and extend our thanks to Teresa and the St John’s members.

Photo from Guy Garheart and WFD Facebook post