LIBERTYTOWN, Md. — A head-on crash involving a Volkswagen and a tanker truck on Route 26 in Unionville had already cost a 22-year-old man his life, when Mike Powers arrived on the scene in what would prove to be his final call.
"He had parked the engine, got out, was making access for the ambulance to get on the scene and he was removing debris,” said Dan More, a former chief and active member of the Libertytown Volunteer Fire Company, “(He) had some type of medical emergency and went down. Fellow firefighters were right at his aid right away and resuscitation efforts continued on his way to the hospital."
Hours later, his fellow members of the Libertytown company would accompany his body to the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Baltimore for an autopsy.
By Wednesday morning, his fellow firefighters had adorned the front doors of the firehouse with Mike's helmet and black bunting, which is also draped across the front of the engine he was driving and his locker---befitting of a man who served the county's fire service for more than 50 years.
"He had taken some time off here recently, because he was about to retire, but he was out for a couple of months and missed the fire service and family so he came back, and for a 70-year-old, his commitment was 100 percent," said More, "The day of this incident, he had responded since 4:20 a.m. on the morning to two previous incidents prior to this. So again, it just goes to show the commitment that he had."
On this day, Emmitsburg firefighters would pull up to the Libertytown station to fill in for Mike's colleagues as they head back to Baltimore to pick up his body and return it home.
"That's the least we can do for a gentleman that served this department for 50 years,” said More. “It's our duty, and quite frankly, it's our pleasure to honor him in that regard."
Mike’s two daughters and their husbands also followed in his footsteps choosing to serve as volunteers in Frederick County's fire and rescue.
Wednesday morning, Governor Larry Hogan directed that state flags be lowered to half-staff in his memory.
“Michael Powers dedicated more than 50 years of his life to firefighting and saving lives," Hogan said in a statement. "He had a great passion for serving his community. We will honor Firefighter Powers' memory and remember his sacrifice as we mourn with his loved ones and his fellow firefighters.”
The Powers family will receive friends on Friday, June 28, 2019 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Libertytown Volunteer Fire Department located at 12027 South Street Libertytown.
A celebration of Mike's life will follow on Saturday, June 29, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. His burial will be in Glade Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Libertytown Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. 33, Libertytown, MD 21762.