Montgomery Parks Recognizes Employee Tom Baker for Heroism in Responding to Plane Crash in Gaithersburg

by MCS Staff

Montgomery Parks recognized Montgomery Parks’ Park Manager Tom Baker at today’s Montgomery County Planning Board meeting for his heroic efforts in helping people involved in a plane crash in Montgomery County on November 28, 2022. Baker, who has worked for Montgomery Parks for over 18 years and manages 29 parks in the Rock Creek region of the county, was presented with a certificate of appreciation, signed by Montgomery Parks Director Mike Riley and Interim Montgomery Planning Board Chair Jeffrey Zyontz, which read:

“In appreciation for your professionalism, commitment, support, dedication and service to Montgomery County residents during the November 28, 2022, plane crash.” “Our employees demonstrate their dedication to serving Montgomery County residents every day, but Mr. Baker’s actions clearly go above and beyond,” said Mike Riley, director of Montgomery Parks. “We are very proud of his courageous efforts, which ultimately helped prevent a tragedy.”

In addition to his role at the parks department, Baker is a volunteer deputy fire chief with Laytonsville District Volunteer Fire Department. He was dispatched to the scene the evening of the crash and was put in charge of communications with the pilot, to keep him calm and informed of the recovery efforts. “This went on for approximately seven hours until they were rescued,” said Baker, “I was relaying information about their status to the medical command officer so he could keep the paramedics informed. In all my 27 active years as a volunteer, I have never responded to such a call. This is in fact a once in a lifetime incident.” The pilot and passenger were both rescued and are recovering.

Featured Photo: Pictured left to right, Mike Riley, Director of Parks, Interim Planning Board Commissioners Robert Pinero and Cherri Branson, Montgomery Parks park manager Tom Baker, Interim Planning Board Chair Jeffrey Zyontz and interim Planning Board Commissioner David Hill at the December 8th Montgomery Planning Board meeting where Tom Baker was presented with a certificate.


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