Flanders, N.J. Assistant Fire Chief Thomas Shields, right.
Photo credit: Fire department courtesy photo
A Flanders, N.J. assistant fire chief died Tuesday, May 31 after responding to a medical call, reports the Star-Ledger newspaper.
Thomas Shields, 42, fell ill after responding to Mountainview Elementary School for an overheated student. He returned to the firehouse but then went home and told his wife he was having chest pains, and died at Saint Clare's Hospital in Denville.
The fire department reports that this is its first line-of-duty death since 1927.
Shields was a husband and father of two.
"Our hearts go out to the Shields family," Fire Chief Greg Widzemok told the newspaper. "We're devastated. He was a huge part of this department and we will miss him."