On Monday, January 24, 2022, three Baltimore City Firefighters were tragically killed while fighting a row house fire. Lieutenant Paul Butrim, Firefighter/Paramedic Kelsey Sadler & Firefighter/Paramedic Kenneth Lacayo were engaged in an interior attack of the fire when a significant portion of the home suddenly collapsed. Baltimore Firefighter John McMaster is currently hospitalized with critical injuries.Firefighter/Paramedic Kenneth Lacayo was a Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad Life Member and graduated from Wheaton High School. In addition to his service with the Baltimore City Fire Department, Kenny had volunteered in Wheaton for almost 11 years.

The Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad released a statement remembering Kenny:

“Kenny joined the Rescue Squad in May of 2011 and steadily advanced through the ranks. He became a firefighter in 2012, a paramedic in 2014, and a founding member of the Honor Guard in 2017. Among his many awards he received the Rescue Squad’s award for paramedic of the year in 2016 and was recognized as a top ten responder in 2015 and 2016. He also received a unit citation in 2018 for his life saving actions in responding to a pedestrian struck by a car.
His exceptional skills as a firefighter and paramedic were matched by his bright smile and his unfailing good nature. He was dearly loved by his fellow WVRS volunteers and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kenny’s family, his many friends, and his brothers and sisters in the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service and the Baltimore City Fire Department.”

The Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad has also setup a GoFundMe page (a secure online fundraiser) to support Kenny’s family.


Boa Constrictor Sheltered in Place, Cat and 2 Dogs Rescued at Forest Glen Basement Fire

Featured Photo Courtesy of Montgomery County Fire/Rescue Chief Spokesman Pete Piringer

Around 7AM Tuesday morning, a house fire was reported in the 2800 block of Woodstock Avenue. Responders included Montgomery County Firefighters, firefighters from the U.S. Army’s Forest Glen Annex, and volunteer firefighters from the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad, Kensington Volunteer Fire Department, and Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Responders arrived and located a basement fire that had spread upwards into the first floor of the home. Firefighters were met by 3 humans safe outside, however the firefighters quickly learned a Boa Constrictor, cat, and two dogs were still inside. The two dogs were quickly rescued, the Boa Constrictor was sheltered in place inside, and the initially missing cat was found safe inside after the fire.

Investigators determined this fire was caused by a space heater placed too close to combustible materials, in this case a dog bed. Montgomery County Fire/Rescue Chief Spokesman Pete Piringer also noted that the home dangerously did not have any working smoke detectors.


Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad Debuts Newest Ambulance

Featured Photo Courtesy of the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad

Tuesday evening, (January 12, 2021), members of the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad placed their newest ambulance in service. Their new rig is a 2020 Freightliner M2 chassis with a PL Custom Titan ambulance body. This new unit replaces a smaller and older 2012 Ford ambulance, and joins three other ambulances owned and operated by the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad.

The Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad handles around 6,000 medical calls annually, making it the second busiest EMS Station in the County and among the busiest nationally. Their newest ambulance ran its first call, a seizure in Aspen Hill, just 15 minutes after being placed in service for the first time.

According to the Rescue Squad’s Facebook page, on its first night in service, the new ambulance was staffed by volunteer EMTs Rick Allen, Derrick Kimble and Co-Pilot Jacob Gardner.

The WVRS also owns and operates two Heavy Rescue Squads, two Paramedic SUVs, and a off-road UTV for accessing and treating patients inaccessible to traditional ambulances. The new ambulance cost slightly over $300,000 and like all of Wheaton’s fleet, is primarily funded through donations.

The new ambulance was manufactured by PL Custom Emergency Vehicles in Manasquan, New Jersey, and sold by Ron Willet of DPC Emergency Equipment.


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