The Swarthmore Fire and Protective Association, Delaware, announced the Line of Duty Death of Richard "Rick" Shoaf Jr.

At approximately 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Swarthmore Fire and Protective Association Emergency Medical Service providers were dispatched to a medical emergency in the Borough of Swarthmore. Rick responded to the station to staff the ambulance, where he was stricken with a cardiac emergency. He collapsed at the station. Responding ambulance personnel immediately started treatment until paramedics from nearby Taylor Hospital arrived. The crews worked feverishly on Rick, while he was transported to Taylor Hospital in the very ambulance he was scheduled to drive minutes earlier.

Fire Chief Cris Hansen described his Company as "devastated." "Rick was one of the most dedicated members of the company. He even chose his employment to maximize the amount of time he could spend at the firehouse. He was regularly available during the daytime, when qualified apparatus drivers are at a premium. Rick was a driver for all apparatus in the Borough for over 20 years."

Chief Hansen immediately took his company out of service. Grief counselors, specializing in fire and EMS incidents were on scene within hours of the incident to conduct group and one-on-one counseling to the company, and to the firefighters that accompanied Rick on his last call. Neighboring fire companies from Parkside, Rutledge, Garden City, Springfield and Morton along with emergency medical personnel from Taylor Hospital took shifts through the rest of the day and through the night to provide fire and medical services to the Borough of Swarthmore.

Rick was a 26-year veteran and Honorary Life Member of the Swarthmore Fire and Protective Association. Rick held the offices of Lieutenant, Foreman, Engineer and House Chairman.

Rick was also a 21-year Life Member of the South Media Fire Company, where he held the position of Recording Secretary and was a past Captain. Rick was also active with the Rutledge Fire Company, and a past member of the Parkside Fire Company.

Rick is survived by his parents, Richard Sr. and Mary of Brookhaven, a sister, Bonne Bohne of Brookhaven, and a brother Kevin.

The viewing will be Tuesday, August 21st at 7 p.m., at the Minshall Shropshire Funeral Home, Middletown Road (Route 352) & Knowlton Road, Middletown Township. Services will be Wednesday, August 21, at 9:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Charity Church, 231 Upland Rd, Brookhaven. Interment will follow at the Media Cemetery, Kirk and Orange Streets, Media, Pa. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Swarthmore Fire and Protective Association, and the South Media Fire Company.

Inquiries can be made to Tom Moleski, Swarthmore Borough Deputy Fire Marshal, at (610) 544-2732.

Richard D. Shoaf, Jr.
April 25, 1958 - August 18, 2001