Chief Victor H. Esch’s Actions April 15, 2020.
On the morning of April 15, 2020, Chief Victor Esch of the Bethesda Fire Department distinguished himself for outstanding courage and dedication to duty.
At 11:11, an alarm was sounded for a large house on fire in the 12600 block of Glen Rd, Potomac, MD. Long-time Potomac resident and former Fire-Rescue Chief Victor Esch, Jr., who was nearby, responded to assist. Upon his arrival, there was smoke emanating from all floors of the large Potomac home and fire was showing from the basement in the rear. Two residents were reportedly inside the structure looking for their dog.
With total disregard for his personal safety and without protective gear, Chief Esch located the two residents and their dog and assisted them to a safe location, away from the structure. He then proceeded to locate a garden hose, connect it to a nearby faucet, and began to fight the fire. Chief Esch’s selfless efforts are being credited to establishing the safety of the home’s occupants and their dog and for substantially extinguishing the fire and containing the fire to the room of origin, prior to the arrival of fire and rescue units. Victor Esch, Jr. is currently a volunteer member of the Bethesda Fire Department, Germantown Volunteer Fire Department and Cabin John Park Volunteer Fire Department, where he is the past Fire-Rescue Chief. He is also the past Deputy Fire-Rescue Chief of the Kensington Volunteer Fire Department.
Chief Esch was recognized for remarkably similar heroic actions on February 5, 1997, when he came upon a very large house which was heavily involved with fire. With no protective gear and no backup, he knocked down the front door and made numerous trips into the burning home, searching for children that were believed to be in the home, having just arrived home from school. Exhausted and overcome by smoke, Chief Esch continued entering and searching the house until relieved by responding fire and rescue units. By that time, the structure was completely engulfed in flames. Fortunately, the children’s bus was late in arriving that day and they arrived home safely, shortly thereafter.
Read Article Chief Storms House