News

Chief C Oscar Baker History 1950’s
Sunday, July 24, 2022

Subject: Passing of C. Oscar Baker (fire-related film clip shows him 70 years ago)
 

Those receiving this news will be saddened to learn of the loss today of widely admired fire community leader, Chief C. Oscar Baker of Mt. Airy, MD.  In addition to many tributes certain to be shared in the coming days, a number will likely also be interested in seeing Oscar in a fire department training film from 70 years ago - https://www.facebook.com/workingfirechief/videos/297942860330437/.
 
Oscar appears at 4:08 (that’s him behind the wheel with a radio telephone receiver in his hand).  An insurance industry film, with opening footage shot in Connecticut, a good bit of the film was shot in the Hillandale (Silver Spring) area of Montgomery County, MD, in 1952-53.  The film also includes footage of the late A. Marvin Gibbons of Hillandale who would go on to serve as Chief there.
 
Marvin, who appears at 2:28, is easy to spot at the point where 4 firefighters are holding hoses - he's the big guy!  Oscar is in the front seat of an old HVFD Reo engine; he worked as a part-time driver for the HVFD-12 as his full-time job in those days was with the old Naval Ordnance Lab FD (now the Naval Surface Weapons Center FD) a short distance from Station 12.  They both served in many key leadership roles over the years.
 
The above referenced portion of the film was shot in the Quaint Arches residential subdivision west of New Hampshire Avenue (MD Rt. 650) / north of Colesville Road (U.S. Rt. 29).  Both Oscar and Marvin went on to serve as state fire association presidents plus Marvin played a major role in the establishment of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg.  Oscar also taught part-time for years for the University of Maryland (FSE/MFRI) and was for years the Chief of the National Institutes of Standards and Technology FD (formerly National Bureau of Standards FD) in Gaithersburg in addition to being long active in the Mt. Airy VFD in Carroll County, too.
 
Oscar, who recently turned 100, will be fondly remembered for many positive things to include being a strong proponent of career and volunteer personnel working together in harmony and finding common ground.  Oscar touched a great many lives.  This above information may be shared.  Thanks, Wayne Powell


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