baltimore firefighters memorial

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – At a joint memorial service today at the Baltimore Convention Center, Governor Larry Hogan honored the life and legacy of Lt. Paul Butrim, Lt. Kelsey Sadler, and Firefighter Kenneth Lacayo of the Baltimore City Fire Department, who tragically lost their lives in the line of duty last week.

Following are the governor’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

“It’s an honor to be here on behalf of all the people of Maryland as we pay tribute to the life and the legacy of three of our true heroes: Lt. Paul Butrim, Lt. Kelsey Sadler, and Firefighter Kenneth Lacayo.

“I want to begin by extending my deepest sympathies to their families, to their brothers and sisters in the Baltimore City Fire Department, and to all those who loved them. 

“Isaiah Chapter 6 says: ‘And I heard the voice of the Lord saying ‘whom shall I send and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘here am I! Send me.’

baltimore firefighters memorial

“Just after 6 a.m. last Monday, in the dark and searing cold, when the call came in, Paul, Kelsey, Kenny, and everyone on shift that day did what they had always done, what they were trained to do, and what they loved to do. They said ‘send me.’ When we learned that we’d lost them it shook us to the core. The loss of a firefighter or first responder in the line of duty is always heartbreaking. To lose three is an unimaginable tragedy. 

“I know that there are no words I can give you that will provide lasting comfort, but what I can give to all of you gathered here is assurance that Paul, Kelsey, and Kenny—their lives, their memories, and their ultimate sacrifice—will not ever be forgotten. They won’t just be remembered for how they died but for how they lived. 

baltimore firefighters memorial

“Lt. Paul Butrim served the Baltimore City Fire Department for 16 years. He was first hired as a firefighter and paramedic apprentice, and not only did he quickly work his way up the ranks, but he earned the respect and the admiration of everyone he worked with. In 2015, Paul received an award for bravery and valor after entering a burning apartment, rescuing a young child who was trapped, and performing CPR until EMS personnel arrived.

“Lt. Kelsey Sadler was a 15-year veteran of the Baltimore City Fire Department. She was tough. You had to be in her line of work. But she was also incredibly kind, and friends say that her work ethic was matched only by her relentless drive to help others. 

“Firefighter Kenny Lacayo came to Baltimore City from the Wheaton Volunteer Rescue Squad where he was named paramedic of the year in 2016 and received a unit citation in 2018 for rendering aid to a person who had been struck by a car. Those who knew him best say Kenny had an easy smile and a magnetic personality. 

baltimore firefighters memorial

“Kenny, Kelsey, and Paul loved being firefighters. They always put the job first, without regard for their own personal safety. They all chose to serve something greater than themselves, and they all felt a deep rooted obligation to make their community a better and safer place, even when it meant putting their own lives on the line for the rest of us. 

“On that tragic and fateful day, they said ‘send me.’ Today, as the bell tolls their last alarm and as we send them to their eternal rest, it is with the knowledge that their memories will live on through their loving families, through all those whose lives they touched, and through their brothers and sisters in the Baltimore City Fire Department who will continue to serve with the same unwavering level of service that they always have. 

“The work of our brave and dedicated first responders never stops. As we gather here this morning, there are heroes out there responding to a call for help, a medical emergency, an accident, or a fire. It is on our worst days that we ask for their very best. 

baltimore firefighters memorial

“Far too often, our first responders don’t get the appreciation they deserve. It shouldn’t take a tragedy like this to remind us of the tremendous debt we owe to all of our firefighters, police, and first responders. 

“In memory of Kenny, Kelsey, and Paul, I ask for all the people of Maryland to find a way to say thank you to those who run toward the danger as others run from it. 

“May God bless Lt. Paul Butrim, Lt. Kelsey Sadler, and Firefighter Kenneth Lacayo. May they rest in peace. 

“God bless their families and all those who loved them. 

“And may God bless and watch over all of our firefighters, and all those who stand on the front lines to protect the rest of us.”

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