2022 Big Money Winners Announced

We are so grateful for the support of our citizens and local businesses as we returned to an In-Person raffle night at out station. Thank you everyone.

Here are the winning prizes and recipients:

1st $ 10,000 Patriot Fire
2nd $ 2,000 Jason Martin
3rd $ 1,000 Kevin Dayhoff
4th $ 500 Randy Landy
5th $ 250 Adrian Gamboa
6th $ 250 Joan Wolford
7th $ 200 Chris Feenstra
8th $ 200 Mark Disimmone
9th $ 100 Hughes Trash
10th $ 100 Debbie Talbert
11th $ 100 Roger Eyler
12th $ 100 Debbie Burkhard
13th $ 100 John Dency
14th $ 100 Harold Leese, Jr.

Member Chris Petry awarded Scholarship

On Saturday May 21, 2022, the Carroll County Volunteer Emergency Services Association held their annual convention at the Sykesville Freedom District Fire Station. During the convention awards ceremony, the recipients of the CCVESA Scholarship were announced. Westminster Fire Department member Chris Petry was awarded a college scholarship. Unfortunately, Chris was unable to attend due to a training that he had organized at the Carroll County Public Safety Training Center. Since Chris was unavailable, Chris’s father accepted the scholarship on his behalf.

Westminster Fire Department recognized the dedicated volunteers and career members for their service to the community in 2021

The Westminster Fire Department recognized the dedicated volunteers and career members for their service to the community in 2021 during their monthly company meeting on Wednesday May 4, 2022. The Annual Awards Banquet which is normally held in January was canceled due to COVID 19.

A Unit Citation is presented to members of the department that, as a crew or group, participated in an action that contributed to the overall professional mitigation of an emergency situation.

In February, Medic 39 was dispatched for a seizure and while en route, the call was upgraded to an unconscious person. The medic unit provided lifesaving interventions and before arriving at the hospital, the patient had been successfully resuscitated. A few weeks later the patient stopped by the station to thank those that saved the patient’s life. The following were recognized with a unit citation:

FF/Paramedic Seth Robinson                               FF/EMT Michael Karolenko

Engineer Vishal Agrawal                                       Lieutenant Mikel C Hess

FF/EMT Michael Erdman                                       FF/Paramedic Briana Stull

In December, Medic  37 was dispatched for a subject with trouble breathing. When Medic 37 arrived they found the patient in cardiac arrest. The medic unit provided life saving interventions. Medic 128 from Sykesville was clearing CHC and responded to assist Medic 37 along with Engine 31 . Without the fast and effective CPR from Medic 37 and the assistance from Medic 128, this could have had a much different outcome. The following were recognized with a unit citation:

FF/EMT Matthew Hafler                                         Engineer Lee Bowers

FF/Paramedic Cassie Houpt                                  Lieutenant Mikel Hess

On Medic 128

FF/EMT Bobby Moser                                             FF/Paramedic Madeline Plaut

In December, units were dispatched for a reported vehicle collision with entrapment. On arrival, one subject was found trapped inside of the vehicle after striking a tree. The engine crew was able to pry open the driver’s door and  worked diligently to remove the driver’s door. With the assistance of Rescue Squad 6 from Pleasant Valley, the driver’s door was removed allowing access to the patient. The patient was then flown by helicopter to Shock Trauma in Baltimore. Due to the unique position of the vehicle and the patient being trapped, units had to be very cautious how they operated around the scene. The following were recognized with a unit citation: 

Lt Michael Hess                                                       EVOD Kyle Stull                                  

FF Bryan Deckleman                                              FF Dennis Mann

Captain Chad Petry                                                 Chief Jeff Leppert

Assistant Chief Marques Price

From Pleasant Valley

Chief Forrest Shaw                                                  Grant Shaw

Wayne Short                                                             Chris Staley

Matt Condon                                                             Michael Swartzbaugh

In October, Westminster Fire Department was alerted for Vehicle Collision with Rescue. Engine 31, Duty 3, Medic 38 and Medic 37 responded along with Rescue Squad 9 from Reese. While enroute units were advised that there was possibly a vehicle over an embankment. Units arrived to find a vehicle suspended approx. 15-20’ off the ground. The vehicle was being held up by a small branch under the front bumper and the rear wheels which were at the edge of the retaining wall. Crews observed the operator to still be in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. Captain Petry requested additional resources as the crews started securing the vehicle. Additional resources arrived and crews spent approximately an hour monitoring the vehicle’s stability and re-assuring the driver of efforts being made to remove them. The driver of the vehicle was removed uninjured. The following were recognized with a unit citation:

Captain Chad Petry                                                 Lt Dave Stull

Engineer Thomas Ray                                            Lt Bill Brehm

FF/Paramedic Casey Smith                                   FF/EMT Matt Vosburgh

FF/Paramedic Steve Caho                                     FF/EMT Hank Swann

Presidents Award – This award is presented to a member who shows outstanding service to the Department by taking on and completing a large and complicated task or project that improves the level of service the Department is able to provide to the community or positively affects the quality of life for other members of the Department.

The Westminster Fire Department decided after many years to bring back Friday night Bingo. The following are the members of the Bingo Committee who have put in several hours to make weekly Bingo a successful fundraiser for the department:

Timothy Bangerd                                                     James Bangerd, III

Mike Garber                                                              Amy Garber

Kenny Carlisle                                                          Robin Stansbury

Bill Brehm                                                                  Richard Koons

Firefighter of the Year – This award shall be presented to a member who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the organization through a variety of activities and has demonstrated the pride, dedication, and commitment that every department looks for in a member.

Firefighter of the Year – Chris Petry.

I would respectfully nominate Chris Petry for Firefighter of the year for the year of 2021. Chris has stepped up in many aspects of the department by constantly being seen in the firehouse assisting with house chores, cleaning, checking apparatus, and preparing himself for the next call for service. Chris attended over 430 hours of training for the year and obtained numerous certifications for both fire and EMS. He has obtained approximately 700 hours of LOSAP for the year and responded to over 500 calls making him one of the top responders for 2021. Chris’s attitude is always positive, his willingness to learn and enhance his skills, expand his knowledge, and his dedication to the department does not go unnoticed. He is a role model for newer firefighters coming into the department, maintains a positive attitude and has achieved the position of Sergeant in a very short time.

The following members were recognized as the Top 10 Responders for 2021:

10 – Lieutenant Corey Milewski                                         9 – Deputy Chief Josh Evans

8 – EMS Captain Gunnar Mohlhenrich                             7 – Assistant Chief Marques Price

6 – FF Dani Wolf                                                                   5 – FF Bill Brehm

4 – Chief Jeff Leppert                                                           3 – Captain Chad Petry

2 – FF Bryan Deckelman                                                     1 – Sergeant Chris Petry

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