FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Captain Joshua Laird died Wednesday while responding to a two-alarm fire in Ijamsville, and now those who worked alongside him and those who served are remembering his legacy.
Captain Laird’s fellow first responders say he had a belief that you leave something better than how you found it, and that’s exactly what he did with the Frederick County community. Fire Medic, James Friend says he even wants to be a father how Laird was.
“I want to be a father like him because he was warm, not only to his family here at the firehouse but also to his own family,” said Friend. “And a man being that warm in both environments is not common.”
Firefighter Technician Steve Ryon was in the academy with Captain Laird and was off duty when Captain Laird fell through the floor while responding to a massive blaze, but once he heard the “mayday” call on the scanner… he headed right to the station.
“Josh was very easy going, he loves to have fun, he’s very responsible in his job, and he held everything to the highest standards,” said Ryon.
Community member, Sharae Peebles says Captain Laird was so kind and genuine to her even though she was a complete stranger, and when she woke up to the news, she was in disbelief.
“It shows me that you could be here today or tomorrow, but how you are as a person while you’re here, impacts how people feel about you when you’re gone,” said Peebles.
Corinne Gadson and her children had their first interaction with Captain Liard just days before his death. They were headed to the beach and ran into him at a gas station and he gave her kids helmet hats. A lasting impression that she will remember.
“I always talk about angels following you, where you go, and he surely was one,” said Gadson. “I know that he’s probably at the best beach right now.”
On Friday it was announced that Captain Laird has been posthumously promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief. An honorable procession will escort him to his final resting place. A GoFundMe page has been set up to support his family.