Year in Review

Whole Blood Program Launch

On September 7, 2023, the department launched its Whole Blood Program. The program allows specially trained and equipped EMS supervisors at HCDFRS to administer whole blood transfusions to patients who have sustained major blood loss through suspected traumatic injury or bleeding.

Tavon Claggett Appointed as New Deputy Chief

Deputy Chief Claggett came to the department after 25 years with Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD). As a member of BCFD, Claggett rose through the ranks from Firefighter/Paramedic to Assistant Chief up until his retirement in 2020. Following his retirement from BCFD, Claggett served as a Division Chief with the Roswell Fire Department in Georgia until he joined Howard County. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Health Systems and a master’s in Public Administration and Management from the University of Baltimore.

Trainee Class 36 Graduates, Trainee Class 37 Starts

On March 24, 2023, 37 students from Trainee Class 36 graduated from the academy and entered the field as firefighter recruits. On July 17, 2023, recruits started their journey at HCDFRS as Trainee Class 37 began.

New Front Line Apparatus Join the Fleet

Engines 82, 101, 131 officially joined the HCDFRS fleet this year, alongside Paramedic 25, 65, and 135. Engine 82 runs out of Station 8 (Bethany), Engine 101 out of Station 10 (Rivers Park), Engine 131 and Paramedic 135 out of Station 13 (Glenwood), Paramedic 25 hails from Station 2 (Ellicott City), and Paramedic 65 is housed at Station 6 (Savage). These pieces replaced existing front line apparatus in compliance with standards set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Since the pandemic, supply chain and delays have extended the purchasing timeline for any new apparatus, which can now take years from approval to completion.

Howard Heat Wins the Howard Cup

The Howard County Heat hockey team brought home the cup from the Orlando Firefighter Hockey Club's annual charity hockey tournament. This event raises funds that are donated to the families of first responders who have died in the line of duty.

Maryland Task Force-1 Deployed to Maui

Members of the Urban Search and Rescue Maryland Task Force 1 (MDTF-1) received activation orders to assist those effected by the wildfires in Lahaina, Maui. They assisted with recovery efforts. Six HCDFRS members were deployed for fourteen days.

Joint Lieutenant Nathan Flynn and Battalion Chief Josh Laird Training

HCDFRS Lieutenant Nathan Flynn and Frederick County Department of Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Josh Laird tragically died three years apart from the other after falling through the floor in two similar house fires. Both fires started when lightning strikes penetrated the dwellings, burning through the corrugated stainless-steel tubing (CSST) used to supply gas to the homes’ appliances. On Thursday, August 3, 2023, Frederick County and HCDFRS hosted the first combined training program to bring the findings from the fire to the fire service’s attention.

Our mission is to maintain a safe environment and high quality of life in Howard County by educating, protecting and serving our citizens, members, and visitors.

Notable Incidents    

Two Fires, One Shift – January 28

Crews responded to a dryer fire that extended into the wall and floor of a home on the 9300 block of Cabot Court in North Laurel. Later that day, units were dispatched to the 7500 block of Crowley Street in Hanover. The fire was extinguished quickly while the sprinkler system kept the fire confined to the kitchen and deck.

I-70 Brush Fires - February 11

Units were dispatched to I-70 in Ellicott City near Bethany Lane. There were multiple small brush fires along the interstate that were near businesses and residential areas.

Greek Boy Place - March 23

HCDFRS was alerted for a house fire in the 10200 block of Greek Boy Place in Columbia. Upon arrival, firefighters found smoke conditions from the third floor of a townhome. The fire involved a mini fridge which crews were quickly able to extinguish. This fire could have been much worse had it not been for a child in the home, who was awoken by the smoke alarm, called 911, and evacuated with his family.

Second Alarm in Dayton - March 29

Firefighters arrived in 5100 block of Green Bridge Road in Dayton for a working house fire. The home's occupants had evacuated upon fire department arrival. A second alarm was requested. There was heavy fire throughout multiple levels of the home.

Townhome Fire on Columbia Road - May 9

Units battled a two-alarm apartment fire in the 5000 block of Columbia Road in Ellicott City. The fire was quickly extinguished, and no injuries were reported.

Business Fire on Oakland Mills Road - June 8

A dumpster fire that had extended into a nearby business was brought under control within minutes by HCDFRS firefighters.

Troy Hill Drive - June 10

HCDFRS responded to a fire in the 7000 block of Troy Hill Drive in Elkridge. Crews quickly extinguished a burning box truck parked close to the building. There was no damage to the warehouse.

Abandoned Building Fire in Laurel - September 21

Firefighters were alerted for a building fire in the 9500 block of Washington Boulevard in Laurel. The structure was believed to be an abandoned building. There were no injuries.

Three Alarm Fire on Stebbing Way - October 25

HCDFRS responded to the 9000 block of Stebbing Way in Laurel for an apartment fire. Three alarms were eventually called. The fire was placed under control after about 40 minutes. There were no injuries. Several animals were saved during the blaze.

Commercial Building Fire in Laurel - November 2

Firefighters were alerted to the 9800 block of Washington Boulevard in Laurel for a commercial building fire. The fire was quickly extinguished.

Multiple Patient Motor Vehicle Incident on Route 29 - December 3

Units responded to Route 29 and Route 108 with a mass casualty motor vehicle collision with patients trapped. Several patients were transported to local hospitals.

Sheffield Court Townhome Fire - December 6

Crews worked to extinguish a stubborn townhouse fire in the 8100 block of Sheffield Court in Jessup. The fire extended into the two adjacent townhouses, causing extensive damage to all three structures. One resident was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Call Volume for the Last Five Years    













The Bright Times

Take a look back at some of the positive moments of 2023 here.

2023 NEWS



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