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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: Aug 28, 2017

Four Baltimore County Fire Department personnel have been deployed to assist with emergency response to the historic flooding in Texas caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Two firefighters deployed early Sunday morning as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Pennsylvania Task Force #1, a team of specially trained first responders based in Philadelphia.

They are Fire Lt. Byron Welker, a rescue specialist; and Fire Apparatus Driver Operator Steve Yealdhall, a hazmat specialist. They are regularly assigned to BCoFD's Texas Fire Station, home of the County's Urban Search and Rescue team.

FEMA organizes special task forces across the nation and selectively activates them in times of disaster. Over the years, various Baltimore County Fire Department members have responded as part of Pennsylvania Task Force #1 to a number of disasters, including Hurricane Katrina and the 9/11 attacks at Ground Zero in New York.

Lieutenant Welker, FADO Yealdhall and the rest of Pennsylvania Task Force #1 left by bus early Sunday morning. They are scheduled to stage outside of the Fort Worth area, where they will receive assignments from FEMA.

"Our thoughts and prayers remain with everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey and its catastrophic aftermath. I am proud that Baltimore County is able to lend its expertise to help our fellow Americans suffering in this historic disaster," said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

Fire Chief Kyrle W. Preis III said this kind of emergency is exactly why BCoFD participates in agreements with FEMA. "Our job is to make people with the needed skills available when disasters like this occur. We don't know what role our personnel will be asked to play in Texas. We do know that they are committed and willing to do whatever they're asked to do."

Two other BCoFD members -- EMS Lieutenants Kevin Palmer and Rick Blubaugh -- flew to Dallas Friday as part of Maryland 1-Disaster Medical Assistance Team. Both are certified paramedics.

DMAT provides medical care during disasters that overwhelm healthcare infrastructure.

Baltimore County Police Officers are wearing mourning bands on their badges today in memory of a fallen hero.

In the early morning hours of August 28, 2013, Police Officer First Class Jason Schneider (36) responded as a member of the Tactical Unit to assist with service of a search and seizure warrant at a home on Roberts Avenue in Precinct 1/Wilkens. The warrant was connected to the investigation of a shooting that had occurred nine days earlier.

When the Tactical Unit, led by Officer Schneider, entered the home, it encountered armed suspects. There was an exchange of gunfire, and Officer Schneider was hit. He died of his injuries later that morning at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.

Officer Schneider is the ninth member of the Baltimore County Police Department to give his life in service to his fellow citizens.

Photo of Officer First Class Jason Schneider

Revised June 27, 2017