Man impersonating a firefighter arrested for trying to cancel a response call with a two-way radio

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Posted at 8:31 PM, Jun 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-10 13:20:41-04

ALLEGANY COUNTY, Md. — A West Virginia man was arrested after impersonating a firefighter while attempting to cancel an active medical emergency call on a two-way radio.

Matthew W. Milburn, 32, is being charged was charged with impersonating a firefighter and impeding emergency transmissions after a 911 call was made earlier this week.

On Tuesday around 2:45 p.m., Barton Hose Company and the George's Creek Ambulance Service were called to the 17100 block of Pekin Street for a medical emergency.

While responding, Fire Chief Kevin Rounds heard a caller identifying himself as "Captain 38" replying through the Zello mobile phone app.

“Captain 38” was later identified as Milburn. He told responding firefighters that the unconscious subject was "10-4" and they could cancel their response.

When emergency personnel arrived, they saw Milburn walking away from the scene. Milburn told them they had used Narcan to reverse the effects of a drug overdose on a family member earlier. He used the radio to make the transmission.

Rounds called for Milburn to come back, and when he did, the fire chief recognized the two-way radio attached to his belt as a device that could transmit over radio frequencies. Milburn gave the radio to the fire chief and ran away.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal was called to investigate.

Coincidently, while investigators were searching for Milburn Thursday to question him about the radio transmission, Allegany County Sheriff's Office received a call for a neighbor dispute involving a gun in the 19200 block of Legislative Road.

Milburn was also at the scene of that dispute. He was arrested on a Garrett County bench warrant and admitted to investigators he was the person on the radio.

Milburn involved in a similar incident in Virginia back in April of 2017. In that case, Milburn was charged with three counts of impersonating a firefighter. He admitted to Frederick County Fire Marshal investigators that he identified himself over the radio as Unit 20 of the Reynolds Store Volunteer Fire and Rescue in Cross Junction. He was not a member of that organization.