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

Jay Ringgold, Baltimore County's Director of Homeland SecuritJay Ringgold, Ret. Director of Homeland Security & Emergency Managementy and Emergency Management, has retired after nearly 35 years of service with the Baltimore County Fire Department.

The HSEM directorship is the second-highest rank in BCoFD, equivalent to Assistant Chief; and serving in that capacity made Ringgold the department's highest-ranking African-American member.

Ringgold joined BCoFD in 1985. Over the years he was assigned to stations in Brooklandville, Catonsville, Eastview and Essex.

In 2003, he was one of two firefighters trapped in rubble following a natural gas explosion on Chalcot Square in Essex. The fire chief at that time, John J. Hohman, said it was "a miracle" that the two firefighters survived. The BCoFD Commendations Board awarded Ringgold the Purple Heart and the Silver Star -- the department's second highest award -- for his role in that incident.

Ringgold has been actively involved in Emergency Management operations, including management of the Emergency Operations Center, since 2006. 

In January 2019, he was appointed the County's Director of Emergency Management by Governor Larry Hogan. 

Baltimore County Fire and EMS personnel are on scene at the Oak Crest retirement community, where an outside gas leak has caused the evacuation of part of the facility.

Some 150 to 200 residents of the Belmont Building have been moved to another part of the Oak Crest community following a natural gas leak in the 8800 block of Walther Boulevard in Parkville, 21234. The call was dispatched at 10:12 a.m. BGE is on scene and has shut off the gas as well as the power, an important safety measure.

The gas leak was accompanied by an underground fire that Fire crews quickly extinguished. A small amount of smoke from this fire infiltrated the Belmont Building. There was no fire at the Oak Crest facility.

Fire crews are using gas meters to make sure the environment is safe.

BCoFD EMS personnel and Oak Crest medical staff are evaluating residents on scene. One patient has been transported to MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center as a precautionary measure.

The entrance to the Oak Crest community is closed to traffic at this time.

Baltimore County Crossing Guard Retires After Nearly 55 Years
Helped Children at Arbutus Elementary School Stay Safe

Nearly 55 years ago, Catherine Drenner joined the Police Department as a Traffic Crossing Guard, and now she has decided it is time to move on.

Mrs. Drenner spent a portion of those years taking care of the children who attended the Arbutus Elementary School as they went to and from school.

Little did the mother of five know on March 14, 1961, that she would be a part of the lives of many children over the next 54 plus years.

According to Mrs. Drenner, this was the perfect part-time job for her as she raised her children. However, she never thought she would stay so long at the job. As she said in her letter to Officer Linda Mabry “Time flies when you’re having fun.”

Police Chief Jim Johnson remarked that “We are fortunate here in Baltimore County to have dedicated people like Catherine, to watch over our greatest asset, our children.”

Mrs. Drenner and her dedication to the children of Baltimore County will be missed. We wish her a happy “retirement” and thank you.

Police Chief Jim Johnson presenting Catherine Drenner a certificate of
appreciation for her nearly 55 years of service as a Baltimore County School Crossing Guard
Revised June 27, 2017