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Covered Fire Bridge Fighter CC

Sat, May 12, 2018 9:00 AM | Deborah Bowman (Administrator)
Leader: Debby Bowman
Members: Linda Bankerd, Sherwood Byers, Steve Palincsar
Guests: none
Route: 47 miles and 2000ish feet of climbing, from Utica Park to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial (www.firehero.org) in Emmitsburg, with a return through Thurmont.
Weather: A cool spring morning, 61 at the start, warming into the 70s for most of the ride and above 80 by the end. Sunshine throughout the day with just enough wind from the south to challenge us in the last few miles. Pollen not as bad as on some recent rides but not gone yet either.
Four-legged creatures: Plenty of cows, sheep and goats. Two dogs ran into the road toward us, luckily without incident.
Music: many birds in the trees singing to us.
Mishaps and mechanicals: A flat tire at the very end of the ride. Intermittent vibrations and noise from a front wheel, possibly from brakes rubbing, though attempted adjustments did not fix the problem. Sunscreen failure leading to sunburned shoulders.

This was a great ride. I moved the ride start up from 10 am to 9, to reduce the chances of getting caught in afternoon thunderstorms and avoid possible hot weather. As it turned out the 90s forecasted for the DC area did not reach northern Maryland and early afternoon storms stayed well north of us. But being caught in severe storms in open farmland is no picnic, so it's worth being cautious when they're a possibility.

The cool temperature at the earlier start time left us with a clothing quandary, however, and we needed extra layers as we rolled out of Utica Park. We warmed up quickly and were able to pack away the jackets and vests at the first stop at Loys Station park. Conditions for most of the day were just about perfect as we wound our way past the farms and over the creeks of Frederick County. Sherwood and Linda generally rode ahead of Steve and me, but we were all together for all of the rest stops and the visit to the Firefighters' Memorial.

This ride was originally scheduled for last fall, after the ceremony at the Firefighters' Memorial to add those who died in the line of duty in 2016. Unfortunately I had to cancel it then and reschedule it. Among those honored last fall was Lieutenant John Ulmschneider of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department.

Photos of the Memorial

The information below is from https://www.firehero.org/fallen-firefighter/john-e-ulmschneider/.

John E. “Skillet” Ulmschneider was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on February 24, 1979, to Cheryl and the late James Ulmschneider. When he was eight, Skillet’s family moved to Clinton, Maryland, where he spent much of his free time working at Miller Farms while attending and graduating from Surrattsville High School. Miller Farm is where Skillet met and fell in love with his future wife, Dawn Padgett.

As a law enforcement officer, Dawn’s father had already become quite familiar with this young man, and it required a healthy amount of convincing for him to come around to the idea of Skillet dating his daughter. However, Skillet was persistent, and he and Dawn went on their first date on her 16th birthday. From that moment on, the two were inseparable.

Skillet had two dreams—to become a firefighter and to settle down and raise a large family. On March 10, 2003, Skillet’s dream of becoming a firefighter came true. On July 31, 2003, Skillet graduated at the top of his class. Through the years, Skillet advanced to paramedic. He spent countless hours studying, fulfilling clinical requirements, and achieving impressive test scores. Officers and peers recognized his work ethic and determination to excel and asked him to become a preceptor to aspiring paramedics. Firefighting was a job Skillet was perfectly suited to do. He loved teaching and helping others and also strived to learn new things himself. A friend to many, Skillet was a joy to work with. His last assignment at Landover Hills Medic 30 was definitely his home away from home. He could not have asked for a better fire department family.

While Skillet had an unparalleled work ethic, there was nothing he enjoyed more than time spent with his family. Skillet and Dawn wed in August of 2005. In June of 2014, they were blessed with their beautiful daughter, Abigail, who became Skillet’s whole world. As Abigail grew, Skillet never missed an opportunity to teach her something, whether it was how to turn a wrench or just to enjoy life.

Skillet was a faith-filled man who lived a life of service, both professionally and personally. He deeply loved every part of his life, at home, on the farm and on the job. On April 15, 2016, he enjoyed a memorable day on the farm with Dawn and Abigail. That evening, while working an overtime shift, Skillet and his partner responded to a 911 call from a concerned family member. Tragically, that evening Paramedic Ulmschneider answered his last call.

Skillet is survived by his wife, Dawn, and daughter, Abigail. Skillet brought joy to every life he touched and is missed greatly by all that knew and loved him.

Oxon Hill Bicycle and Trail Club
P.O. Box 81  
Oxon Hill, MD 20750-0081

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