A Maryland firefighter passed away from a heart attack Thursday, October 25 while doing repairs at the station.

William Howzdy, 71, was president of the Glenn Dale Fire Association in Prince Georges County. He had served the department since 1962, and was an active firefighter until six years ago. He also spent one term as chief.

Howzdy was in the department's storage shed Thursday preparing to put up some additional shelves. But as he gathered together the plywood, he collapsed, said Chief Ed Woods.

Two EMTs soon spotted Howzdy on the ground at about 11:32 a.m. as they were leaving for lunch, and immediately began resuscitation efforts and called for help. Howzdy was pronounced dead at PG Doctor's Hospital in Lanham at about 12 p.m.

Woods described the firefighter as a quiet person with an eye for detail. "He was kind of like a rock," the chief said. "One of those people who are steady, solid, and predictable, that you know you can depend on."

But at the same time, Howzdy also had quite a sense of humor.

"You had to know him to understand it, but we're going to miss it," the chief said.

Funeral was held on Friday. "He was going to be annoyed about the funeral plans - he didn't like a lot of pomp and ceremony," Woods said.

The department, located in suburban Washington D.C., has a combination force of 109 volunteers and six full time employees. They suffered one other line of duty death when a career firefighter was killed 20 years ago.