A Pennsylvania firefighter was struck and killed Sunday, December 19 while assisting at the scene of a multi-vehicle accident, reported the Neffsville Community Fire Company.
Joseph Kempf, 24, was acting in an unofficial capacity when he stopped at the scene of an accident to do a primary assessment of the patients, reported Neffsville firefighter Mike Elliott. "While performing this task he was hit by a car, involved in another accident and killed, Elliott wrote. "He was not responding as a member of Neffsville Community Fire Company. However, he was performing the duties which he was trained to perform."
The accident occurred on Interstate 80 in central Pennsylvania.
According to the fire company's web site, Kempf served as a member of Station 2-7 from 1995 to the present, and had taken several state courses including Essentials the State DOH First Responder program. He had recently relocated to begin a career as a high school Technology Education/Vocation teacher.
Fire department members were attending Kempf's funeral Thursday and could not immediately be reached for comment. However, in a tribute online they wrote, "Firefighter Kempf touched many lives at Station 2-7 and will be greatly missed."
They continued, "People who knew Joe would not be surprised that he stopped to lend assistance in a time of need. He was doing what he had been trained to do, help others. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Joe's family in this very difficult time. Although we have lost a friend and brother firefighter, we have many great memories to build on that will keep the spirit of firefighter Kempf alive in our hearts and in our firehouse."
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Thursday at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 601 E. Delp Rd., Lancaster, PA.
According to his obituary at Lancaster Online, "Joe lived each day to the fullest. His gregarious personality befriended him to everyone he met. He had a passion for life and loved to build, kayak, ski, and travel."
He was also an active alumni member of the Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps, which travels several thousand miles each summer to perform around the country, and was also active in the Reading Buccaneers Drum & Bugle Corps.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Crossmen Drum & Bugle Corps at YEA!, 601 West Hamilton St., Allentown, PA 18101.