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Thread: Veteran New York Firefighter Collapses Assisting at Accident Scene

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Veteran New York Firefighter Collapses Assisting at Accident Scene

    Veteran New York Firefighter Collapses Assisting at Accident Scene

    Fallen 76-Year-Old Was Serving as Fire Police Captain

    LON SLEPICKA
    Firehouse.Com News


    A South Schodack, New York Volunteer Department Fire Police Captain collapsed at the scene of a car accident Friday evening while assisting with traffic and the set up of a medevac landing zone.

    Harold Coons, 76, was transported to Albany Memorial Hospital where he died of a heart attack. Assistant Chief Walt Wheeler said he died doing something he thought was very valuable to the community.

    A head-on crash occurred Friday evening on a two lane Route 9 near Duck Pond Road and I-90 Exit 12. One of the two drivers died and the other had to be extricated from the vehicle and was rushed to the hospital by helicopter.

    Coons was one of the founding members of the department about 45 years ago. According to Wheeler, when the first truck was purchased in 1957, Coons housed the truck in his barn until a department building was constructed. Coon

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    Moderator patries's Avatar
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    Bio:

    Harold Coons, Jr., a lifelong resident of Schodack, New York, and the son of Harold and Helen Coons, was a farmer, mechanic and founding member of the South Schodack Fire Department. Captain Coons served as a volunteer firefighter for 45 years and was one of the department's first Chiefs.

    At the time of his death, he was directing Fire Police operations for traffic control and a med-evac "Landing Zone" in the course of his department's response to a serious traffic accident on US Route 9.

    He had been Captain of the department's Fire Police for the past 25 years He was also serving as Chairman of the South Schodack Fire District Board of Commissioners when he died, Friday evening.

    Coons was a former member of the Rensselaer County Fire Advisory Board and a former committeeman for the Republican Party in the Town of Schodack, a position he held for 40 years. He was a member of the Reformed Church of Schodack at Muitzeskill. He was also widely known as "the Mayor of South Schodack." because of his commitment and contributions to civic affairs and governance in his home town and county.

    Colleagues' recollections, where quoted below, have been gathered from published and broadcast media accounts and from conversations among members of the South Schodack Fire Department.

    Chief Jerry Bohley: "He was a guy who dedicated his life to the fire service. Whenever we needed someone with experience, he was there. ... He was a guy who was always here through thick and thin. You could count on Harold being there," Bohley told the Times-Union.

    Captain Tony Maier, a long-time South Schodack fire fighter, expanded on that theme when he was asked to react to his fellow commissioner's death. "He would have wanted to go this way, doing something he felt was so valuable" said Maier, "rather than die of cancer or something like that. He was doing something he cared deeply about."


    Several veteran fire fighters recalled Coons' role in founding the company and developing its facilities and expertise. His casket will ride from the funeral home to firehouse to cemetery Tuesday on the hose deck of the department's original truck, also known as "34-1" and "Speedy." It is the same truck, now restored as an historic piece, that Coons helped the company buy in 1957 and which he housed in his barn until the first South Schodack firehouse was built.

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Coons, Jr., Harold

    Age: 76
    Rank: Fire Police Captain
    Status: Volunteer
    Incident Date: 08/30/2002
    Incident Time: 20:15
    Death Date: 08/30/2002

    Cause of Death: Stress/Exertion
    Nature of Death: Heart Attack
    Emergency Duty: Yes
    Duty Type: Non-Fire Emergencies
    Activity Type: Support Duties
    Fixed Prop. Use: Street/Road

    Fire Dept. Info:
    South Schodack Fire Department
    1467 Bame Rd.
    Castleton on the Hudson, New York 12033
    Chief: Gerald Bohley

    Initial Summary:
    Captain Coons was assisting with traffic and the set up of a medevac landing zone at the scene of a major traffic accident when he collapsed and died from an apparent heart attack. Memorial Fund: In the name of Captain Harold Coons, Jr. For the South Schodack Fire Department, 1467 Bame Rd., Castleton on the Hudson, NY 12033


    http://www.usfa.fema.gov/application....cfm?p_id=1339

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