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Thread: Texas Fire Chief Suffers Heart Attack Shortly After Responding To Motor Vehicle Accid

  1. #1
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    Texas Fire Chief Suffers Heart Attack Shortly After Responding To Motor Vehicle Accid

    Texas Fire Chief Suffers Heart Attack Shortly After Responding To Motor Vehicle Accident

    Updated: 11-04-2004 11:24:26 PM

    Herald Coaster Photographer
    Katy Fire Chief Gary Tilton
    B.J. POLLOCK
    Courtesy of The Herald Coaster

    Former Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management Assistant Coordinator Gary Tilton passed away Wednesday night at his home in Katy, four months after being named fire chief of that city.

    Tilton leaves behind his wife of 37 years, Jo Ann, and one daughter, Laurie Kornfuehrer of Bellaire. The Tiltons have resided in Katy since 1968, just after Tilton was discharged from the military.

    He began working for Fort Bend County as a dispatcher for the Sheriff's Office in 1971, and was named county fire marshal on Feb. 1, 1985.

    A few years later, the department was realigned and the fire marshal's office and Office of Emergency Management were combined. It was then that he made the lateral transfer to the Office of Emergency Management.

    He continued his life of service to the community in retirement, serving on bioterrorism committees and the Local Emergency Planning Committee.

    He served as a Katy city councilman for five years, resigning that position when he was named fire chief in June. He officially took the reins of that position on July 1, after 31 years of service as a Katy volunteer firefighter.

    "I think being chief is the dream of all firefighters," Tilton said at the time. "I'd always wanted to be fire chief. For me, it wasn't a goal - it was just trying to be the best firefighter I could be."

    Katy Mayor Doyle Callender said Thursday morning the city is saddened by Tilton's death.

    "I had lunch with him yesterday," Callender said. "He was a wonderful man and will be very much missed in our city. We're saddened by this loss."

    Callender said he is proud of the life Tilton led, his service to others and his involvement in his church and community.

    "He always wanted to be fire chief, and he was," said Callender. "He will be remembered for a long time here. He was an excellent councilman, fire chief and citizen."

    The Richmond, Rosenberg and Needville fire departments will participate in Tilton's services, which were being planned as of press time Thursday.

    Rosenberg Fire Chief Greg Mensik, a longtime friend of Tilton's said, "Gary had a real passion for the fire service. He lived and breathed it all his life. He did everything he could for every fire department in the county."

    Mensik described Tilton as "very upbeat," and said, "Nothing could ever get him down. He would always lift your spirits. He never met a stranger."

    Richmond Fire Chief Stephen Noto, also a longtime friend of Tilton's, said news of his death "was quite a shock."

    "I think it was a fulfillment of one of his dreams to be fire chief in Katy," said Noto. "Without a doubt, Gary was a very colorful individual and passionately dedicated to whatever he was involved in. He always gave 110 percent, no matter what he did. He left his mark on all of Fort Bend County, and especially its firefighters. Without question, he did a lot for the fire service."

    "I've known him just about all my life," said Needville Fire Chief David Luedeke. "He did an excellent job as fire marshal and in emergency management."

    Luedeke said Tilton served as chairman of the Texas Firefighters' Association's fire prevention poster contest, and served on other boards and committees as well.

    "We were just like family," Luedeke said. "He was a good guy who was well-respected in the fire service. He left lasting impression on a lot of people."

    Tilton was past president and a longtime member of the Rosenberg Rotary Club.

    One of his favorite pastimes was working as a clown as children's hospitals and charitable functions.

    Services for Gary Tilton, 58, will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at First Baptist Church in Katy, 600 Pin Oak Rd.

    Services are under the direction of Schmidt Funeral Home, 281-391-2424.

    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=39&id=36351

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    Katy, Texas Mourning Loss Of Fire Chief

    Updated: 11-04-2004 12:06:22 PM

    Katy Times News Staff
    Courtesy of The Katy Times

    Katy Fire Chief Gary Tilton passed away Wednesday night at his home in Katy, four months after taking the job.

    Katy Mayor Doyle Callender said Thursday morning the city is saddened by Tilton's death.

    "I had lunch with him yesterday," Callender said. "He was a wonderful man and will be very much missed in our city. We're saddened by this loss."

    Callender said he is proud of the life Tilton led, his service to others and his involvement in his church and community.

    "He always wanted to be fire chief, and he was," said Callender. "He will be remembered for a long time here. He was an excellent councilman, fire chief and citizen."

    Tilton leaves behind his wife of 37 years, Jo Ann, and one daughter, Laurie Kornfuehrer of Bellaire.

    The family has resided in Katy since 1968, just after Tilton was discharged from the military.

    He began working for Fort Bend County as a dispatcher for the Sheriff's Office in 1971, and was named county fire marshal on Feb. 1, 1985.

    A few years later, the department was realigned and the fire marshal's office and Office of Emergency Management were combined. It was then that he made the lateral transfer to the Office of Emergency Management.

    He continued his life of service to the community in retirement, serving on bioterrorism committees and the Local Emergency Planning Committee.

    He served as a Katy city councilman for five years, resigning that position when he was named fire chief in June. He officially took the reins of that position on July 1, after 31 years of service as a Katy volunteer firefighter.

    "I think being chief is the dream of all firefighters," Tilton said at the time. "I'd always wanted to be fire chief. For me, it wasn't a goal - it was just trying to be the best firefighter I could be."

    Rosenberg Fire Chief Greg Mensik, a longtime friend ofTilton's said, "Gary had a real passion for the fire service. He lived and breathed it all his life. He did everything he could for every fire department in the county." Mensik described Tilton as "very upbeat," and said, "Nothing could ever get him down. He would always lift your spirits. He never met a stranger."

    Richmond Fire Chief Stephen Noto, also a longtime friend of Tilton's, said news of his death "was quite a shock." "I think it was a fulfillment of one of his dreams to be fire chief in Katy," said Noto. "Without a doubt, Gary was a very colorful individual and passionately dedicated to whatever he was involved in. He always gave 110 percent, no matter what he did. He left his mark on all of Fort Bend County, and especially its firefighters. Without question, he did a lot for the fire service."

    "I've known him just about all my life," said Needville Fire Chief David Luedeke. "He did an excellent job as fire marshal and in emergency management."

    Luedeke said Tilton served as chairman of the Texas Firefighters' Association's fire prevention poster contest, and served on other boards and committees as well."We were just like family," Luedeke said. "He was a good guy who was well-respected in the fire service. He left lasting impression on a lot of people."

    Tilton was past president and a longtime member of the Rosenberg Rotary Club. One of his favorite pastimes was working as a clown as children's hospitals and charitable functions.

    Services for Gary Tilton, 58, will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at First Baptist Church in Katy, 600 Pin Oak Rd.

    Services are under the direction of Schmidt Funeral Home, 281-391-2424.

    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=46&id=36349

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    Tilton, Gary Allen

    Age: 58
    Cause of Death: Stress/Overexertion
    Rank: Fire Chief
    Nature of Death: Heart Attack
    Classification: Career
    Emergency Duty: Yes

    Incident Date: 10/20/2004
    Duty Type: After
    Incident Time: 18:06
    Activity Type: Scene Safety
    Death Date: 10/20/2004
    Fixed Prop. Use: Street/Road

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Katy Fire Department
    1417 Avenue D
    Katy , Texas 77493
    Chief: Warner Preston

    Final Summary:
    The Katy Fire Department units were dispatched to a crash involving multiple vehicles and injuries. Chief Tilton arrived on the scene and assisted with traffic control and other on-scene operations. The injured were treated and transported, and firefighters stood by for the arrival of law enforcement and towing services. The incident commander observed that Chief Tilton looked fatigued and asked him if he was feeling well. The chief responded that it seemed to be taking longer and longer to recover from the treatments that he was receiving for an illness. After a short break, the chief seemed to be feeling better. When the incident was terminated, fire companies went back into service at approximately 1923hrs and Chief Tilton departed the accident scene. At 2234hrs, firefighters were dispatched to Chief Tilton's residence for a medical emergency. Chief Tilton had suffered a heart attack. Firefighters provided ALS-level EMS care and transported Chief Tilton to the hospital. Despite their efforts, Chief Tilton was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.

    http://www.usfa.fema.gov/application...eath_year=2004

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