NY Assistant Chief Dies Months After Falling Ill on Fireground

Firefighter fatality

A firefighter with the Whitehall Volunteer (NY) Fire Company has passed away several months after he became ill on the fireground, according to a report from the U.S. Fire Administration.

On May 2, 2020, while responding to a structure fire, Second Assistant Fire Chief James P. Brooks Jr., 45, thought he pulled a muscle. While tending to his duties when at the scene, Brooks started to feel intense pain. He was transported to the Rutland Regional Medical Center in Vermont where it was determined that he suffered a torn aorta. He was then airlifted to the University of Vermont Medical Center. During this hospital stay, Brooks suffered multiple complications including a blood clot, kidney damage, and a heart attack. A subsequent emergency operation resulted in Brooks experiencing three strokes that left him confined to a wheelchair with only the use of his right arm.

Brooks was eventually released from the hospital on July 31, 2020. Brooks passed away, however, at his sister’s residence on September 18, 2020.

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