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Police and Fire News

Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Date: Mar 10, 2014

The Baltimore County Fire Department will honor a fallen firefighter and first responders and civilians who  have performed exceptionally at  its annual Promotional  and Commendations Ceremony, scheduled  tomorrow, March 11, at  Goucher College's Kraushaar Auditorium.

The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m.

Besides awarding deserving first  responders and civilians,  this evening also will recognize 55 Fire Department members who have been promoted during the past year and 31 graduates of the 102nd Recruit Class of Probationary Firefighters. Graduation ceremonies for the 102nd class originally planned last January were postponed due to inclement weather.

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Fire Chief John Hohman are scheduled to speak.

Highlights of the awards portion of the program:

  • Recognition  of Reisterstown Volunteer Fire Co. Firefighter Gene Kirchner, who died of injuries suffered while trying to rescue a person trapped in an April  24, 2013 Reisterstown house fire.  Kirchner, 25, last spring was posthumously  presented the Medal of Honor -- the Fire Department's highest honor -- and the Purple Heart.
  • A Baltimore County police officer from the North Point Precinct will receive the Fire Department’s third highest award, the Bronze Star, for rescuing a man from a building fire in Dundalk.
  • Several citizens will receive awards. These include two women in Garrison who saved a person from choking; a boy in Eastview who called 911 and helped save his mother; a man in Rosedale who evacuated a warehouse following a train crash and explosion; a Parkville lifeguard who saved an infant by performing CPR; a woman in Perry Hall who saved the life of her neighbor by performing CPR; and a Parkton man who saved a man in cardiac arrest by performing CPR.
  • Crews from Dundalk, Eastview, Wise Avenue, Edgemere and North Point Edgemere will be recognized for rescuing 14 residents trapped in an apartment fire.
  • Crews from Golden Ring and Eastview that were the first on the scene of a train derailment and explosion in Rosedale will be honored.

Timothy Howard Virts has waived extradition from South Carolina. BCoPD is working with South Carolina authorities on logistics involved with his return; they are uncertain exactly when that will occur.

Virts will be charged upon his return to Maryland with first degree murder in the killing of Bobbie Jo Cortez, found dead Thursday morning in her bedroom in the 3100 block of Ardee Way in Dundalk. Police believe Virts killed Bobbie Jo on Wednesday, some time before 6 p.m. Shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday, police believe, Virts fled with his and Bobbie Jo's 11-year-old daughter, Caitlyn. He and Caitlyn were located Friday evening in a motel in Florence, SC, after a nationwide search.

Homicide detectives flew to South Carolina after Virts' arrest there. Detectives continue to interview Virts, who agreed to talk to them. Details of their conversations are withheld due to the ongoing investigation.

Police continue to explore all aspects of this situation, including Virts' relationships with Bobbie Jo Cortez and their children. (Caitlyn, her twin sister and a 13-year-old brother are believed to have been at the Ardee Way home at the time their mother was killed.)

Caitlyn Virts

Police have been informed by officials at the county's Department of Health and Human Services that Caitlyn returned to Maryland Saturday evening. She was reunited with her siblings, all of whom are in the custody of social services officials.

Caitlyn appears to be unharmed physically. Baltimore County Government will provide all available resources to her and her siblings.

911 Tapes & Arrest Warrant

The 911 tapes for this call are being withheld due to the ongoing investigation.

The arrest warrant charging Timothy Virts with first degree murder is not yet public because it has not been served. Virts will be served with the warrant upon his return to Maryland.

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