A longtime member of the Rothsville Fire Company collapsed and died Thursday morning while assisting at the scene of a crash.
Fire Police Officer Ed Steffy, 71, was directing traffic at East Newport Road and Rothsville Road when he suffered an apparent heart attack just before 11 a.m., Fire Chief Sam Young told Intelligencer Journal-Lancaster New Era.
He was transported to Ephrata Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
"It's been a rough day, a long day," Young told the newspaper. "Nothing really ever prepares you for this kind of thing."
He was at the scene of the three-vehicle collision when he received word of someone stricken about a mile from where he was, but didn't know it was one of his firefighters.
"I got there and found out it was Ed and -- he was slumped over at the back seat of his car."
The fire chief and a woman involved in the crash performed CPR for about three minutes before an ambulance crew arrived.
Steffy was a 49-year veteran of the fire company and had previously served as an EMT and the department's assistant chief.
"He was always willing to help people and . . . well, he was just a very nice gentleman," Young said. "He was -- I can't say enough. He was a good friend and will be missed."
Steffy is survived by his wife, Rosene, and their two sons, Mark and Nevin.
Funeral arrangements are pending.