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FIREFIGHTER JEFFREY HUDSON, 46, of the St. Louis, MO., Fire Department died on Dec. 12. After returning from a call, Hudson was found dead in his bunk at the fire station. Hudson was an 18-year veteran of the department.
FIRE CHIEF PHILIP A. MORTENSEN, 67, of the Brooklyn, WI, Fire and EMS Protection District died on Dec. 22. After returning to his place of employment from a call, Mortensen became ill and collapsed outside of the building. First responders initiated CPR, but all efforts failed. Mortensen died of apparent cardiac arrest.
Two firefighters from the West Webster, NY, Volunteer Fire Department died on Dec. 24. FIREFIGHTER MIKE J. CHIAPPERINI, 43, and FIREFIGHTER TOMASZ M. KACZOWKA, 19, died in a shooting incident that left two other firefighters seriously injured. Arriving at the scene of an intentionally set house and vehicle fire, firefighters were ambushed by a shooter. The shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Investigators also found the remains of the shooter’s sister in the burned-out house. Seven homes were destroyed or damaged in the fire, which burned out of control as firefighters waited for the scene to be secured by police and SWAT teams.
Three employees of Med-Trans Air Medical Transport, based in Lewisville, TX, died on Jan. 2, 2013, in a medical helicopter crash near Mason City, IA, on Jan. 2. PILOT GENE GRELL, 53, FLIGHT NURSE SHELLY LAIR-LANGENBAU, 44, and FLIGHT PARAMEDIC RUSSELL PIEHL, 48, died in the crash. The helicopter crashed in a snowy field in northern Iowa shortly after departing Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa in Mason City at around 9 P.M. The helicopter was enroute to pick up a patient in Emmetsburg, about 78 miles west of Mason City.
EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN WILLIAM MARTIN, 56, of the Stillwater, NJ, Emergency Rescue Squad died on Jan. 8. Martin was driving an ambulance transporting a burn victim from a house fire to a helicopter landing zone when he suffered an apparent heart attack and lost control of the ambulance. The ambulance left the road and crashed into a utility pole. Martin was pronounced dead at the scene. The patient and a paramedic and an EMT in the ambulance were not injured.