It was a special evening on Monday, November 18, for the annual membership meeting of the Sykesville Fire Department. A family involved in a serious crash on Route 32, fifteen years ago this month, came to the firehouse to meet some of the crew working that day and to say thank you.
It was 17 year old Erin Oberholzer who reached out to the department a couple of months ago with a comment on the original news article from 2004. In it, she said, "On behalf of my mom, little sister, and I along with the entirety of our family, thank y’all for your hard work and for helping us when we truly needed it. I only wish I could meet the man and women that responded on the scene to see what they remember since I was only 2 years old when this happened."
Department officials reached out to Erin and arranged a meeting. Chief Eddie Ruch, Jr., who was the incident commander in the 2004 incident, welcomed the family and gave them a tour of the rescue squad, which was on the scene that day and carried the rescue tools used to free Erin and her family. They were also able to meet some of the crew on the scene that day: Brian Ruch, Libby Luebberman and Steve Bitzel.
Finally, the family had the chance to stand before the membership of the fire department and express their gratitude for their assistance on that day. But they weren't expecting what came next. The members gave them an ovation, explaining that it's not every day that people come back, and that their visit meant the world to them.
In the end, we don't do the job for the pats on the back. We do it because we love it, and we have a passion for serving the community. The few-and-far-between expressions of gratitude are reminders to us that our work impacts peoples' lives. We could not be more grateful to Stacey, Ava, Erin and their families for taking the time to visit.