Erik P. Steciak of Columbia, Maryland, died suddenly in the line of duty, on Tuesday, January 6, 2015. Born November 6, 1985, in Seoul, Korea, he was the son of Orest Steciak and Jennifer Young Steciak of Columbia. Erik began his career with the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company on December 1, 2011, as a paid EMS employee. He was also a volunteer Fire Captain at the West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department in Howard County, Maryland. During Erik’s time with the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company he responded to over 1400 calls.
He received training through the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services Training and at Howard Community College; received training in EMS at Drexel University, Philadelphia and interned in the emergency and operating rooms at Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia. He received his EMT Intermediate 99 Certification and Fire Service Instructor III Certification in 2010 and Paramedic, EMT Paramedic and ALS Authorization Letter certifications in 2011.
Being a dedicated volunteer at West Friendship Volunteer Fire Department, he received many awards over the past several years, which included: EMS Person of the Year in 2006, one of the Top EMS Responders in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. He was also a Top Fire Responder in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. In 2011, Erik received the Luke Hoffman Training Award, as well as, the Gift of Life Award. His additional awards included the Fire and Rescue Quality and Care Award, Top Combination Responder, Distinguished Service and Provider of the Year awards. Erik was also technologically savvy with computers and enjoyed music, playing in his band, “Ride 56”.
Erik always displayed the highest level of professionalism while on duty at the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company. His patient care skills were exemplary and his compassion was even greater. Erik was always looking to further his knowledge and education. He viewed every call as a learning experience. Each call, he would bring something back from the call and further his own knowledge. Erik quickly became a major resource when it came time to assist with EMS training.
Erik became a mentor and teacher to many members of the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company at their Patterson Mill Station. With new members going through EMT class, he would sit down with them going over all materials and helping to explain things that were hard to understand. Many Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company members have stated that they would not have passed the EMT class if it were not for the help Erik gave them.
With Eric’s selfless mentoring, dedication, and love for the fire and EMS services, he will be missed by all the lives that he touched during his career as a firefighter and EMS responder.