Leonardtown, MD- Thousands of Southern Marylanders lined the streets from Charles County to Leonardtown, MD, as dozens of emergency vehicles and hundreds of emergency personnel escorted fallen firefighter Brice C. Trossbach home from the Maryland Office of the Medical Examiner in Baltimore, MD.

Trossbach died on Tuesday, June 27, 2023, assisting in fighting a house fire in Leonardtown, MD. The Office of the State Fire Marshal has not released a preliminary report. However, they are looking at a possible lightning strike as the cause. Trossbach had fallen through the floor, and a mayday was called. Tuesday afternoon, he was escorted to Baltimore by an armada of emergency vehicles for an official autopsy.

Trossbach was a career firefighter at the Naval District Washington Fire Department at NAS Patuxent River(2019) and a volunteer at the Bay District and Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Departments(2013).

“Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to Brice’s family, friends, and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time,” said NAS Patuxent River Commanding Officer Capt. Derrick Kingsley. “We understand that no words can fully alleviate the pain and grief they are experiencing, but we want them to know that our entire NAS Patuxent River family stands beside them, offering our support, love, and prayers. In the face of this tragic loss, we are reminded of the tremendous risks our firefighters face each shift to keep our installation and our community safe. They put their lives on the line without hesitation, demonstrating remarkable bravery and commitment to the well-being of others. We are forever grateful for their service and sacrifice. Brice’s loss is not only felt by us at Pax, but by the greater Southern Maryland community as well.”

St. Mary’s County Commissioner President James Randy Guy addressed the mournful gathering, acknowledging the gravity of the situation: “This is a dark day in St. Mary’s County, and we are mourning. It has been said that in an emergency, firefighters rush in when all others rush out. We are deeply grateful for the bravery and selfless service of this firefighter, and in this time of need, we ask for God’s mercy. We also want to extend thanks to the numerous fire companies from in and around the county for their response to the call for aid.”

“I’ve known Brice since he was a little kid following his dad to the Leonardtown Fire Station when I was the Chief there, and he always wanted to be a firefighter,” said Gerald Gardiner, Deputy Director of Emergency Services for St. Mary’s County. “To see him come up from that kid, to the man and firefighter he’d become, makes this loss especially hard. His respect for those he helped, the mentorship he provided the younger guys coming up, and the service he gave to the nation and Southern Maryland community will leave a big hole in our hearts.

“Being a firefighter is not just a job but a calling. Brice Trossbach answered the call, and we will forever be grateful,” said Chief Chris Bell. “Right now, words cannot convey the loss we are feeling, nor can they convey the pain we feel for his family. So, we will stand with them, extend our arms to support them, and lift our prayers for their peace and comfort. Our deepest sympathies to the Trossbach family.”

“Brice was the kind of guy who, when you gave him a task, you knew it was going to get done the right way the first time, and it was going to get done fast,” continued Chief Bell, “He was always there to support his fire family, whether that was with help around the station, mentoring younger firefighters, or continuing his education to ensure he was the best he could be.”

Dear Heavenly Father, we bow before you today grieving the loss of the firefighters who have died in the line of duty.   We mourn the loss of these true heroes from our midst who gave their lives in the line of duty while protecting our lives, our homes and our communities.   Jesus says in the Bible, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  (John 15:13 NIV version)  These firefighters who answered the call to this difficult and dangerous task have shown love and commitment of the highest order for us and for this we are eternally grateful.

We are fully aware that we can never repay the sacrifice of these courageous firefighters.  We can never do anything to deserve their ultimate gift of service given to us at such great personal cost and given at such a great cost to their families.  We can only acknowledge that they gave all for us.  Help us to go forward today having received from these short moments of prayer and meditation a small measure of personal aspiration to be like them in small daily ways.  Help us to be inspired and changed by their self sacrifice, their strength, their courage and their sense of duty.  May we put our whole hearts into the tasks we do that serve the greater good of our community.  And may each small act of service we do be a living memorial to our fallen firefighters.  Amen.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply