Members of Barnstead Fire-Rescue in New Hampshire have lost their dependable "go to" guy.
Firefighter Stephen Jones, 56, experienced difficulty breathing last week while on duty. He was rushed to a local hospital where he went into cardiac arrest, and died.
"His passion was the fire department," said Chief George Krause. "He was known to leave New Hampshire and visit fire houses in New York City just to shoot the breeze..."
Jones, a 40-year volunteer, enjoyed taking the department's safety trailer to other stations across the state. "He has friends everywhere. He made an impression on every person he touched."
Krause said Jones mentored many young people, and never expected recognition. He did it because he wanted to. "He was a firefighter's firefighter."
He also used his mechanical expertise to keep equipment and tools in shape. "I knew he would follow through on any project."
The chief and Jones grew up together in the rural New Hampshire town of 5,000. "We were in the Boy Scouts together. The fire department was the sponsor. I think that's when the seed was planted..."
Visitation for Firefighter Jones will be held Saturday, Jan. 6 10 a.m. at Barnstead Fire-Rescue Station 1, 305 Parade Road, Barnstead, NH.
The funeral service will begin at 2 p.m. at the station.
A marching procession will be held from the station to Riverview Cemetery.