Wisconsin Firefighter Dies During Accident Response

A Wisconsin firefighter died in the line of duty on November 24 when he suffered a cardiac arrest at the scene of a traffic accident.

Jeffrey A. Tiegs, 47, served the Amherst Fire District for 11 years and the Amherst Area First Responders for eight years, said Lt. Ken Voss.

Tiegs had just arrived at the scene of a minor car accident with no injuries or entrapment when he was stricken. "He pulled up and parked the truck, he stepped out the door, and collapsed right there," Voss said.

First responders on the scene immediately assessed Tiegs and provided medical assistance and defibrillation. An ambulance reached the area within eight to ten minutes and transported him to St. Michael's Hospital, where he died.

Tiegs is survived by his wife and son, who are also members of the fire department, and two daughters and three grandchildren.

"They live right next door to the fire station so Jeff didn't miss many calls," Voss said.

Tiegs was so involved in the fire department that members kidded that he was a professional volunteer firefighter. Voss said his biggest thrill was driving the fire apparatus and that he was constantly taking classes. He also took the time to really get to know everybody. "Jeff was the guy on our department that knew everybody in the county," Voss said.

Voss also descibed Tiegs as a kind-hearted person who always went the extra mile. "He did a lot of things he didn't have to do," Voss said, such as call others on their birthdays and pick up little gifts for people. When Voss and Tiegs got the opportunity to ride together, Voss said Tiegs would always shake his hand and welcome him aboard.

The Amherst Fire District is a paid-on-call department with 43 members, serving three villages, a township, and contracting out to other nearby communities for a total coverage area of about 70 square miles. They operate five trucks out of one station.

Tiegs' death was the department's first line of duty death.

A memorial fund has been established for Tiegs' family. Contributions can be made to the Jeffrey A. Tiegs fund at the International Bank of Amherst at 103 Main St. South in Amherst, WI 54406.

Visitation was held at the Jungers-Holly Funeral Home in Amherst. Tiegs was buried with full firefighter honors after services at Peach Lutheran Church in Amherst.


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