BY REBECCA BENNETT —  When the driver of a pickup truck crossed the center line of Chillum Road and struck a church van on November 8, ending his own life and four others, members of the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department were first on the scene to respond.  Those first responders were recognized by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems with the 2016 Maryland Star of Life for their actions at that tragic mass casualty accident.

The rescue squad  crew members recognized include Capt. Jeff Kraus, Lt. Ryan Pidgeon, Sgt. Tim Keiling, Firefighter/EMT Patrick Williams, Firefighter/EMT Nathan Zeck, and Firefighter/EMT John Tull.  Ambulance crew members recognized include EMS Sgt. Ian Kolmaister and Firefighter/EMT Christine Szarko.

“The bravery and selflessness demonstrated by the responders on-scene undoubtedly saved many lives, including several children, that day,” the award program said.