Chester Taylor Lauck was born in Winchester, Virginia, on December 21, 1956. Chester was introduced to the fire department by his mother’s friend from church. In 1972, Chester became a member of the Rouss Fire Department located in Winchester. In the fall of 1979, he joined the Sarah Zane Fire Company. While at Sarah Zane, he held the title of deputy chief. Chester worked for the city of Winchester as a firefighter for a short time and was later hired by the city. While serving at the 167th Airlift Wing from January 28, 1978, to September 5, 1994, he obtained his Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) certification and training. He left the Air Force Reserves, holding the rank of technical sergeant. He later pursued his firefighting career as a fireman at the Quantico Marine Corps base.
He transferred to the Washington Airports Authority, which is now known as the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority. During his 22 years of service to the airport, he was an ALS provider, a fireman, and a chief officer. Chester formed the HAZMAT team at MWAA, which is still in operation today. As the battalion chief of Special Operations, Chester was directly involved in many large projects, including the terminal shuttle tunnels being constructed. Chester responded to the terrorist attack at the Pentagon on 9-11-2001. He retired from MWAA in 2007. He later held a part-time position with Frederick County (Virginia) Fire and Rescue, overseeing the emergency management needs of the community. He was later appointed to a full-time position as the deputy chief of Emergency Management.
Being a career fireman didn’t slow Chester down. He continued to be involved in his local volunteer departments. Chester was instrumental in writing and obtaining various grants, some of which were used to replace an ALS transport unit, aging hydraulic rescue tools, turnout gear, SCBA, and a station cascade system. He could also be found wearing his yellow Nomex shirt and green pants on a wildfire anywhere in the county. Chester helped create a part-time crew in the late 1980s to respond to wildfires in Virginia. He was able to assist with wildfire needs in various states after he retired from MWAA.
Chester wasn’t just a fireman. He was a beloved husband to Becky Lauck; they married on February 27, 1979. Chester became a father to twin boys. While his sons were growing up, he became a coach and mentor and could often be found running the chuck wagon at the local county fair. Later in life, Chester became a grandfather of three girls, whom he loved dearly.