"THE SUPREME SACRIFICE"

By Hank Przybylowicz

February 4


On this date in history, the following members of the fire service made "The Supreme Sacrifice:"


1880 - PHILADELPHIA, PA
F/F William Woolston - Engine 23
He died as a result of injuries sustained February 2nd, when he fell from the roof while operating at a two-alarm fire in a furniture factory.

1885 - MANHATTAN, NY
F/F James P. Smith - Engine 17
He was killed when he fell from a ladder while operating at an alarm.

1903 - MILWAUKEE, WI
Fire Chief James Foley
F/F Edward Hogan - Truck 1
F/F Thomas Droney - Chemical 1
They died from the effects of inhaling acid fumes at the stamp and seal company acid spill on February 3rd. Droney had answered an alarm in the evening after being at the spill, and was found lying unconscious in the snow next to the engine. He was revived and refused to go to the hospital. Several hours later he died in quarters. Hogan died shortly after Captain White did several hours before. Chief Foley remarked shortly after White's death that by morning he would be a dead man. He was right; he died in the wee hours of the morning. All of the men suffered severe searing of their lungs by the acid fumes and slowly suffocated in their own fluids.

1908 - MANHATTAN, NY
F/F John J. O'Connell - Engine 4
F/F Thomas P. Eglinton - Ladder 10
The top four floors of a five-story dry goods loft were fully involved in a three-alarm fire. They were killed when a large safe crashed through the floor on top of them.

1909 - INDIANAPOLIS, IN
Lt. Michael Corliss - Age 46 - Truck 4 - 11-year veteran
He died as a result of injuries sustained the previous day, when a fast-moving train struck the truck as they crossed the tracks while en route to an alarm.

1919 - MANHATTAN, NY
F/F William K. Schalle - Engine 16 - 4-year veteran
He died as a result of the severe smoke inhalation sustained the previous day while operating at a fire.

1933 - MILWAUKEE, WI
F/F Elmer Ryback - Truck 1
He died of an infection after being cut by falling glass at a fire.

1934 - LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, NJ
Vol. F/F John Morton - Age 20 - Slackwood Fire Co.
He died as a result of a severe skull fracture and other injuries sustained January 30th, when the engine he was driving to a brush fire was broadsided by a tractor-trailer as they crossed a highway. He was the fifth and final firefighter to die as a result of the wreck.

1937 - MILWAUKEE, WI
Batt. Chief Thomas Bresnahan
He died as a result of the acute heart attack he suffered while operating at a dwelling fire on February 2nd.

1946 - TROY, NY
Capt. John Fitzgerald - Engine 12
He suffered a fatal heart attack due to overexertion while operating at a fire in bitter-cold temperatures.

1950 - BALTIMORE, MD
Capt. Daniel Riordon - Engine 15
F/F Andrew J. Duffy - Engine 15
On arrival, firefighters found a working fire in the cellar of a clothing outlet's double five-story brick building. As Riordon and Duffy were stretching a line down the rear stairs, an explosion occurred, engulfing the two men in fire. It was shortly after, that while a firefighter from Engine 26 was advancing a line into the rear entrance, he fell over the two bodies of his comrades. He called for help and the two fallen men were carried to the street, where all efforts to revive them proved unsuccessful.

1960 - YOUNGSTOWN, OH
Capt. Charles E. Prosser - Age 54 - Engine 2 - 20-year veteran
While at a practice burn of a house, he complained of chest pains just after helping to stretch a line. He was rushed to the hospital, where he died in the emergency room of a heart attack.

1961 - BRONX, NY
F/F John N. Crosthwaite - Squad 2 - 4-year veteran
He died as a result of severe smoke inhalation sustained the previous day, while operating at a single-alarm fire. He had just completed his fourth year with the department.

1977 - HOUSTON, TX
Capt. Jackie D. Ludwick - Age 43 - Station 7 - 20-year veteran
While acting as battalion chief at a dwelling fire, he suffered an acute heart attack. He was rushed to the hospital, where he died.

1988 - HALSEY-SHEDD, OR
Vol. F/F J.J. Stroda - Halsey-Shedd Rural FPD
While responding to the fire station in answer to an alarm, he was killed in a motor vehicle accident.

1995 - CLAUDE, TX
Vol. F/F Jared L. Wright - Age 18
He died as a result of severe head and abdominal trauma sustained January 31st, when a train struck the brush fire unit he was driving as it crossed the railroad tracks, while returning to quarters from a brush fire. Another firefighter was killed in the wreck and a third man was seriously injured.

1997 - DETROIT, MI
Capt. Wayne M. Fogel - Age 55 - Squad 2
He suffered an apparent massive heart attack and died in quarters while on duty.

Lay me down beside cool waters,
And lay to rest my body sore.
Send the word out to my brothers,
The fire is down, let it burn no more.
- Charlie Ball -
"Fireman's Prayer"


Let us not forget these brave souls who unselfishly gave their lives in the performance of their duties. Let us all take a moment out of our busy day to say a prayer for these fallen soldiers of the Lord, and ask that He grant them eternal rest and peace in His Kingdom. Also ask that He watch over and protect the member's loved ones who were left behind.


The Supreme Sacrifice© is a product of the Line of Duty Research Service. This product may not be used in any form for commercial venture or for monetary gain without the expressed written permission of the Line of Duty Research Service. Copyright© 2000. All rights reserved.


[This message has been edited by ChiefHank (edited February 04, 2000).]