Volunteer Firefighter International

LODD: Volunteer Fire Chief Dies After May Medical Emergency

Chief Jim Brooks had initially shown some signs of improvement

By Firefighter Close Calls

The Whitehall, NY firefighter who suffered a torn aorta on the way to a May 2 fire has died, in the line of duty. Second Assistant Fire Chief James P. Brooks, 45, died around 1030 hours Friday.

He succumbed to injuries as a result of an early-morning mutual-aid structure fire in Dresden in May. Chief Jim Brooks had served more than 20 years with the fire company.

Chief Brooks thought he had pulled a muscle in the firetruck responding to the Dresden fire. He suffered intense pain while tending to his duties at the scene. He was transported by Skenesborough Emergency Squad to Rutland Regional Medical Center in Vermont for further evaluation. He was then flown to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont.

Related: Volunteer Fire Chief Improving After Tearing Aorta at Fire

During his hospital stay, Chief Brooks suffered many complications, including a blood clot, kidney damage and a heart attack. He was intubated in the ICU until early June. Chief Brooks also suffered three strokes, leaving him confined to a wheelchair with only the use of his right arm.

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