Rob Peros, 38, never got the chance.
The probationary firefighter was still in training when he stopped along the Baltimore Beltway to help his father change a flat tire on Saturday and was struck and killed when a car swerved onto the shoulder, hitting both men.
"There was an accident. There was a code message... we have a code messaging system that was sent out to the membership that there had been a loss of life," Lt. Amanda Mertens of the fire company said, "It's a brother and a sisterhood. We're a family, and when one of our own gets hurt, injured, tragically dies then we come together."
On Saturday, the fire house is inviting the public to visit its Christmas Holiday Train Garden and it will donate half of the proceeds directly to Peros' family.
"There were seven children that they were caring for... seven children," Mertens said.
Back in April, Peros decided to return to volunteer fire service--something he had done years earlier before the demands of life got in the way. Wwhile his training had all been in house up to this point, he longed to fight fires and to save lives.
His fellow firefighters said that now, even total strangers are answering the call to help out those loved ones he's left behind.
"We have toy drives going on,” Mertens said. “We are trying to prepare clothing for the children, Christmas gifts for Christmas, meals for the family. I know the school has stepped up where the children attend to really help out as well. So the community has really come together to help this family."
The train garden will open to the public at noon on Saturday and will remain open until 9 p.m. that night.
Following the accident five days ago, paramedics transported Rob's father to the Shock Trauma Center where he remains hospitalized in critical condition.