image description

Longtime Bomb Tech and Hero Dog Handler Nominated For Deputy State Fire Marshal of the Year

June 2nd, 2023 by WCBC Radio

Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Michael Redding has been selected as the Bomb Squad nominee for Deputy State Fire Marshal of the Year. He will join other investigators chosen throughout the state for the 2022 James C. Robertson Deputy State Fire Marshal of the Year Award during the Maryland State Fireman's Convention in Ocean City later this month.  

Senior Deputy Redding began his public safety career as a captain with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, where he pursued training and certification as a fire investigator and bomb technician. Redding retired after 30 years as a senior section supervisor and Bomb Squad Commander. 

He was hired by the Office of the State Fire Marshal in July 2018. As a previous supervisor, Senior Deputy Redding brought experience and technical leadership to the agency and is the High Explosives Inventory Officer and Chief Pilot of the OSFM Special Operations Group four Unmanned Aircraft Systems. This program has been an invaluable tool for fire investigation units across the state by providing overhead aerial scene photography, crime scene surveillance, and bomb squad downrange viewpoints, greatly enhancing personnel safety and efficiency. 

"The constant changes, daily fluctuation, and priorities can be overwhelming some days. Senior Deputy Redding brings experience and service to the Bomb Squad. His flexibility to get the job done exhibits exceptional performance. With his professionalism, he provides attention to detail and embraces the opportunity to educate the public about what we do," stated Deputy Chief Duane K. Svites, Bomb Squad Commander.

Senior Deputy Redding supports the mission of the Maryland State Police and Office of the State Fire Marshal as the handler of Hero Dogs K9 "Sandy." Sandy is named after Deputy Chief Sander Cohen, who died in the line of duty in 2017. So far this year, Sandy has had 24 requests for her services and has become well-known throughout the state.  

He and his wife travel across the state, providing stress relief for public safety employees during and after critical incidents, assisting in fire safety and public safety education programs, and facilitating outreach opportunities for the department. She is the second Hero Dog they have raised. Their first, Hero Dog Tahoe, works helping victims of domestic assault. 

"Senior Deputy Redding and his family unselfishly give their time to Hero Dogs and all those touched by it. This effort speaks to his commitment to mental health and welfare and his compassion for this profession," said Svites