On January 5, 2021, Prince George’s County Fire Department lost one of its own. Chief Nicholas C. Finamore, an active-duty member, passed away due to complications from COVID-19. He was affectionately known to his friends and family as “Nick.” Chief Finamore was a 53-year veteran of the department who served in both career and volunteer capacities. After retiring as a career deputy fire chief of operations in 1989, Nick became the chief of the Allentown Road Volunteer Fire Department. He held many leadership roles within the department, most recently as volunteer operations commander for the Prince George’s Fire Department, where he served until his passing. He was well known in the fire service and well respected by all that had the privilege to know and work alongside him.
Chief Finamore was considered a pioneer in the Prince George’s County Fire Department, a true leader and the epitome of the perfect firefighter. He was recognized for bravery several times throughout his distinguished tenure. Early in his career, Nick was awarded the PGFD Gold Medal of Valor for rescuing two children from a house fire.
There was never a shortage of stories about Chief Finamore and his love for the job; however, the true love of Nick Finamore’s life has always been his family. It’s ironic how the people he encountered were cared for in the same fashion as he cared for his family. From his humble beginnings in Washington, DC, to his journey throughout the fire service, to his tightknit community in southern Anne Arundel County, Dad’s core value was to ensure the foundation of family was unwavering. Before his untimely passing, Dad’s primary pursuit in life was simply to care for and ensure the happiness of his five wonderful grandchildren, Sophia, Eddie, Nicholas, Brody, and Paul. Day after day, Dad’s life revolved around what he could do next to make the gang happy.
When you hear stories and reference to Chief Finamore’s life, many people use the term “legend.” What makes a legend? Is it what they accomplished in their lifetime or how they are remembered when they are gone? I believe this legendary status transcends any fire department accomplishments. It was his selfless nature. It was his unwavering positive approach to tackling any of life’s obstacles. It was his uncanny ability to adapt to change. It was his unique ability to make a story come alive. It was the relentless loyalty to his men, his department, and to tradition.