Frederick County Department of Fire and Rescue Services Captain Joshua David “Josh” Laird died in the line of duty on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, while battling a house fire in Ijamsville, Maryland. He was a 21-year veteran of the department and was assigned to Green Valley Fire Station 25 in Monrovia, Maryland. Captain Laird was posthumously promoted to battalion chief.
Josh loved the fire service. His career started at 16 with Mont Alto Fire Department in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At the age of 18, he became a paramedic and was the youngest in the state of Pennsylvania at that time. He volunteered and worked for numerous departments in Franklin, Fulton, Cumberland, Adams, and Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. Finally, in 2000, his dream to become a career firefighter came true when he was hired by the Frederick County (Maryland) Department of Fire and Rescue Services.
During his career, Josh received a Silver Star of Bravery and numerous accolades for exemplary service. Josh took the opportunity to mentor those new to the fire service very seriously; he was known for saying, “Just do the right thing.” Additionally, he was a COVID-19 Incident Management Team member, a car seat technician, and read to kids at the local elementary school.
Josh’s passion for service extended outside of work to his local community. He served on the School Board of Fairfield Area School District and was a member of the Adams County Democratic Committee.
Above all else, Josh’s favorite title and greatest accomplishment was being a dad to his daughters, Erin and Madelyn. He was a doting father and loved his girls more than anything else in the world. He willingly volunteered to have his nails painted, was a cheerleader at softball and basketball games, and baited many hooks while fishing. He was proud of both of his daughters and all their accomplishments.
Josh and his wife, Sara, were married for 20 years. He was Sara’s biggest fan, greatest supporter, and best friend. They were a team in all things.
Josh was a huge personality and was known for his pranks at home and work. He loved traveling and learning about other cultures, especially Mexican culture and food, and anything spooky, scary, or Halloween-related. Over his lifetime, he had many hobbies, including rock collecting, golf, metal detecting, fishing, hunting, coin collecting, and ghost hunting. Josh was a loyal friend to many and was always willing to support and care for those in need.
The world is a better place because of Josh’s contributions, and he leaves a void that will never be filled. His wife and daughters miss him desperately.