Family of Fallen Md. Firefighter to Get Pension

The family of a volunteer firefighter who died in the line of duty will receive a pension death benefit after the County Council approved proposed changes to county penion law Monday night.

Mark Falkenhan was a volunteer firefighter at the Lutherville Volunteer Fire Co. when he died on Jan. 19 while fighting an apartment fire in Hillendale.

But Falkenhan previously served 16 years in the Baltimore County Fire Department. He left his pension in the county system when he left the department and joined the U.S. Secret Service.

The changes to the pension system allow the county to pay a death benefit to survivors of volunteer firefighters who die in the line of duty and have at least 15 years of service with the county and did not withdraw their pension.

The new benefit will pay Falkenhan's family about 30 percent of his average final salary with the county.

County officials said they don't believe the change will affect any other firefighters.

Republished with permission of The Essex-Middle River Patch.