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Perryville fire captain killed in 2013 will be recognized at Fallen Heroes Day

Public Transportation DisastersTransportation DisastersMaryland State PoliceAmerican Legion

A Perryville fire police captain who was killed last year while directing traffic at an accident scene will be among those honored May 2 at the state's annual Fallen Heroes Day Ceremony in Timonium.

David Ronald Barr, 64, of Port Deposit, died in November 2013 after he was hit by a vehicle while directing traffic at an accident scene on Route 40.

Mr. Barr was a captain with the Community Fire Company of Perryville.

He was among those responding to a crash on Oct. 25 near East Coast Liquors in the 5200 block of Pulaski Highway.

A Perryville man who was driving his sedan west on Pulaski swerved to avoid Barr's emergency vehicle in the left lane of the highway and struck Barr, according to Perryville police at the time.

No charges were filed against the driver, who was "very cooperative," police said.

Mr. Barr, whose whole family is involved in the fire service, was taken via Perryville ambulance to a hospital and died two weeks later at Christiana Medical Center in Delaware.

Rachel Barr, his daughter-in-law and an EMT in Perryville, was working the accident scene and saw her father-in-law get struck.

"It's always harder when it's family," she recalled Wednesday.

She is now a major supporter of the "Move Over" law, requiring drivers to move for emergency vehicles, and said she wants tougher penalties for those who hit rescue officials on the side of the road.

"It shouldn't be just a simple traffic citation for that," Rachel Barr said. "There's just entirely too many people that are getting struck while performing their duty and trying to help other people."

"It doesn't seem to be getting through to people," she added about the need to move over.

Since the accident, Rachel Barr said her family's life, as well as the Community Fire Company of Perryville, has completely changed.

David Barr was a retired firefighter with the federal fire service and formerly worked at the Perry Point Veterans Affairs Hospital. In addition to volunteering at the Community Fire Company, he was a member of the Water Witch Fire Company in Port Deposit, which he joined as a teenager, according to his family.

Rachel Barr said he was also a commander for the American Legion.

"Our fire service lost someone that was a very strong figure," she said. "That's our job, is to be prepared for anything. He was at an accident performing his job, protecting everyone, including himself."

Rachel Barr said her family is sponsoring a bus that will hold as many as 49 people for anyone who wants to ride to the Fallen Heroes event at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.

She said the bus will leave at 11 a.m. from Perryville's fire station at 920 Principio Furnace Road and will return by 4 p.m.

She asked that anyone who wants to ride the bus to call her at 443-309-5741.

The Fallen Heroes ceremony will also honor Gene Kirchner of the Reisterstown Volunteer Fire Company, Jason Schneider of the Baltimore County Police Department and James Brooks of the Prince George's County Volunteer Marine Fire Rescue.

The ceremony is expected to draw 1,500 attendees, including families, friends and public safety leaders.

A police officer and a firefighter who died before Fallen Heroes Day was established will also be remembered. They are William P. Mills Jr., of the Maryland State Police Easton Barrack, who was killed in 1979, and Ocean City Volunteer Firefighter Jeffrey Dieter, killed in 1983.

 

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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