Michigan Firefighter Collapses on Call

AVOCA, MICH. -- A former volunteer fire chief assisting at a medical call collapsed on Monday night.

Peter G. Neilson, 74, responded to an EMS call with fellow members of Kenockee Township Fire Department.

While speaking with the patient's family, he sat down on a chair and passed out, said Assistant Chief Adam Munro.

Care was immediately initiated, and he was taken to a local hospital where he died of an apparent heart attack.

Retired Army Col. Neilson led the department for several years, stepping down as chief in 2001. However, he remained one of the top responders.

"Over the past 15 years, he has handled our fire prevention and education," Munro said. "He was a tremendous asset. He used his military experience to help us acquire equipment and grants."

Neilson enjoyed helping the community, and was active with a number of organizations.

Visitation will he held from 2-8 p.m. Friday, at Kaatz Funeral Home, Yale, Mich. A firefighter memorial service will be held at 7 p.m.

A funeral service with full military honors will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home. Interment will be held in a military cemetery near Holly.

In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to Kenockee Township Firemen's Fund, c/o Kenockee Township Fire Department, Box 375, Avoca, MI 48006.