Firefighter/EMT Gene Kirchner of the Reisterstown Volunteer Fire Company died on May 2, 2013, eight days after he was critically injured while fighting a house fire and attempting to rescue a resident of the building.
Although he was only 25 at the time, Gene had been associated with the Reisterstown Volunteer Fire Company for nearly a decade, having joined the company’s ranks as a junior firefighter at the age of 16. Two years later, he officially became a volunteer firefighter/EMT. In his tenure, Gene had responded to more than 3,000 emergency calls, earning top responder status multiple years.
Gene was born August 22, 1987, in Israel. He was a 2006 graduate of Owings Mills High School, where he lettered in cross country and track, and was an all-county band selection. After graduation, he attended the University of Advancing Technology in Phoenix, Arizona.
Among his family and friends, Gene is remembered as a fun uncle, the family peacemaker, and a hero. The dependable young man enjoyed spending time with his mom. He was a dedicated friend who had a big heart and whose smile lit up a room. He enjoyed playing video games and watching movies, but above all he enjoyed serving his community.
In addition to his volunteer job, Firefighter Kirchner worked as a dispatch controller and EMT for Butler Medical Transport.
Gene Kirchner is survived by his parents, Paulette and Gene; his siblings, April, Shelly, and twin brother Will; his three nieces and one nephew; two brothers-in-law; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Gene was a dedicated firefighter, and his colleagues note that when he responded to a call, he was on a mission to save lives, not just to put out a fire. It was that dedication that earned him the department’s Medal of Honor, which was awarded posthumously.