TOWSON, MD—Jay Ringgold, Baltimore County’s Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, has retired after nearly 35 years of service with the Baltimore County Fire Department.
The HSEM directorship is the second-highest rank in BCoFD, equivalent to Assistant Chief; and serving in that capacity made Ringgold the department’s highest-ranking African-American member.
Ringgold joined BCoFD in 1985. Over the years he was assigned to stations in Brooklandville, Catonsville, Eastview and Essex.
In 2003, he was one of two firefighters trapped in rubble following a natural gas explosion on Chalcot Square in Essex. The fire chief at that time, John J. Hohman, said it was “a miracle” that the two firefighters survived. The BCoFD Commendations Board awarded Ringgold the Purple Heart and the Silver Star — the department’s second highest award — for his role in that incident.
Ringgold has been actively involved in Emergency Management operations, including management of the Emergency Operations Center, since 2006.
In January 2019, he was appointed the County’s Director of Emergency Management by Governor Larry Hogan.