Randy Reinecke’s food truck is named Cowboy Eats, but on Thursday his focus was feeding grieving firefighters.
Reinecke, formerly with the Fallston Volunteer Fire Company, drove his food truck to Station 8 in West Baltimore to feed colleagues of the three Baltimore firefighters who died fighting a rowhouse blaze on Monday. His family volunteered to help him serve 100 meals to the men and women of the Baltimore City Fire Department’s 3rd Battalion.
“I just thought I could do something to help them, even for 15 minutes, keep their mind off of what happened,” said Reinecke, who served 30 years as a Fallston volunteer. “You’re not gonna take their pain away or the memories. It’s just to give them a break.”
Cowboy Eats served up grab-n-go food to the firefighters, such as cheeseburgers, hot dogs, pit ham, fries and sandwiches.
“It was crazy,” he said. “We had to make sure the stuff we did was quick because literally the fire trucks were coming by, getting our food and leaving with their lights on. That’s how busy that part of the city is.”
Reinecke said he came up with the idea the day after the three firefighters died on the job. Baltimore fire Lt. Paul Butrim, who has ties to Harford County, Lt. Kelsey Sadler, and firefighter/paramedic Kenny Lacayo died from injuries they sustained fighting the Baltimore rowhouse fire. Funerals for the three are planned for next week.
The injured firefighter, John McMaster, was released Thursday from University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
“A firefighter’s job is not like other jobs,” Reinecke said. “Not everybody comes home, unfortunately.”
Reinecke reached out to friends within the Baltimore City Fire Department, who were appreciative of the support, he said. He also got several donations from local businesses, including a tray of Greek food from Mr. Souvlaki’s, sausages from Roma’s, burgers and hot dogs from Harvest Faire, and supplies from the Restaurant Store - Baltimore North.
“This was not about us,” Reinecke said. “It was all about them.”