The two years provided Baltimore County Fire Department Lt. Jay Ringgold all the proof he needed to show area residents that they need to be prepared for just about anything in Maryland.
During that time, Baltimore County has dealt with , , , a and even an .
“Maryland is susceptible to everything but a volcano,” Ringgold said. “We have to be prepared.”
It was that mindset that led Ringgold, a Rosedale resident, to establish the Neighbors Helping Neighbors program for Baltimore County. The program, he said, is designed to educate people to be prepared for disasters and to assist individuals with disabilities.
The course, which is held about four times a year at different locations throughout the county, helps residents be aware of anything from how to prepare for a hurricane to dealing with crime prevention and fire safety.
“My hope is to share the knowledge we have in the fire department to help residents be proactive and be able to assist others in the community when they may need it,” said Ringgold, a Towson native who joined the Baltimore County Fire Department in 1985.
“During large scale disasters, we can’t be everywhere at once, so if people can be self-reliant for a time then we can concentrate on those who need our help the most.”
County fire department Chief John J. Hohman called Ringgold a “true hometown hero” and is a vital asset to the department.
“Jay has a deep commitment to emergency management and to the people of Baltimore County,” Hohman said in a statement. “His personal concern and caring have made him an outstanding professional in his field, and this award is one he very much deserves.”