Career paramedic and firefighter Robert A. “Bobby” Jones, 59, died Thursday due to complications from COVID-19, according to the Reese and Community Volunteer Fire Company in Westminster.
Officials said that Jones was exposed to and contracted COVID-19 while providing patient care, performing his duties serving Carroll County in December.
“After a hard fight and multiple complications, he succumbed to the virus,” according to a statement on the Reese VFC website.
Carroll County Commissioner Stephen Wantz, R-Dist. 1, has known Jones since 1982 and served as a firefighter alongside him at several stations in the past.
“One thing I’ll never forget about Bobby is his smile,” Wantz said.
Jones’ death was the first line-of-duty death for Reese VFC, according to the fire company.
According to Kati Townsley, public information officer for Reese VFC, COVID-19 vaccinations and masks are encouraged but not required among fire company employees.
Jones joined the Woodlawn Volunteer Fire Company on Sept. 19, 1978, where he remained a member until his death. He entered the Baltimore County Fire Department Academy as a firefighter recruit on Feb. 28, 1982.
Wantz was in the 1982 Baltimore County Fire Department 65th recruit class with Jones.
“Back in the day when you were in the same class, you got to know each other very quickly and you become bonded for the rest of your life,” Wantz said. “We worked together at a couple different stations and we retired the same year. ... One thing I’ll never forget about Bobby is his smile.”
Wantz said public safety and “giving back to citizens” was always on the top of Jones’ priority list.
“He was a fine individual and will be missed in Carroll County. ... I can’t even imagine how many folks he’s touched throughout his career,” Wantz said.
Carroll County Breaking News
“The Carroll County Fire/EMS Department has lost a true legacy who provided many years of lifesaving experience to our citizens,” Michael Robinson, director of Carroll County Department of Fire and EMS, said in a statement. “The loss of Bobby has impact throughout the region, and he is well known for his dedication and passion to our profession not only in Carroll County but also in Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties.”
Jones served Baltimore County as a paramedic/firefighter at various stations, calling Station 4D in Catonsville home until his retirement as a fire lieutenant on April 4, 2012.
Jones called the Reese and Community Volunteer Fire Company in Westminster his second home and family. He joined the staff of Reese as a paramedic in the late 1980s, working part-time until he became a full-time paramedic, firefighter and engineer in January 2007. Since that time, he served the community as a paramedic, firefighter, engineer and shift supervisor.
Jones also volunteered at Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Company from 2011-2013 and Cape St. Claire Volunteer Fire Company from January 2013 until his death. He was promoted on May 19, 2021 to fire lieutenant by the Anne Arundel County Fire Department. Additionally, he was a career-long member of IAFF Local 1311 (Baltimore County Professional Fire Fighters) and Local 5184 (Carroll County Professional Fire Fighters & Paramedics).
Jones is survived by his mother, father, four siblings, two stepdaughters, and two grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his wife.
Editor’s note: This story will be updated as more information becomes available.