CUMBERLAND — Kenneth “Pete” May, a lifelong leader in volunteer service who served as the president of the LaVale Volunteer Rescue Squad for nearly 40 years, died Monday. He was 91.
“We lost an extraordinary man today,” James Pyles, director of the Allegany County Department of Emergency Services, said. “Ken May’s commitment to the emergency services community is unmatched.”
Diane Shoemaker, who succeeded May as president of the LaVale Rescue Squad several years ago, said May was “like a father to me.”
Shoemaker said she was present when May joined LaVale Rescue in 1978.
“Ken did so many things. It’s hard to narrow them down to just a few,” Shoemaker, a retired nurse and former paramedic who began her volunteer service more than 40 years ago with the American Red Cross, said. “He served his country in more ways than one. He always offered a helping hand no matter what the need was.”
May was the first of three generations of his family to serve with the LaVale Rescue Squad, which observed its 50th anniversary in 2018. He was a member of the LaVale Volunteer Fire Department before he began volunteering at the rescue squad.
“Betty was a volunteer before me and one day she said they had a heart attack victim to get to but they had no driver. I told her I could drive and…