Mike Wilbur


The assistant chief of the Buchanan Valley Volunteer Fire Department was critically injured when he fell from an apparatus as it responded to crash in a neighboring town.

According to the local newspaper, York Daily Record, Assistant Chief Walter Wagaman of Orrtanna, was flown to  York Trauma Center with severe injuries.

Initial reports indicated Wagaman was ejected from the apparatus, but upon request for clarification by a York Daily Record reporter, a Pennsylvania State Police spokesperson said the victim fell from the apparatus.

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According to local television station Fox 43, Wagaman, 49, was responding to a crash in Menallen Township when the incident occurred.

Wagaman was traveling with four other firefighters to the crash and the other firefighters immediately rendered aid and summoned for additional resources to help with the incident, according to several reports.

The Buchanan Valley Volunteer Fire Department issued a statement shortly after the incident which identified the victim as a firefighter. It also said that “for unknown reasons, a firefighter was ejected from the apparatus,” and immediately following the mishap, the unit was placed out of service and replaced with another apparatus to continue to the original motor vehicle crash.

“The crew from Rescue Engine 27 immediately began treating the injured firefighter,” the statement reads in part.

The fire department statement also asks people to pray for the injured member and for the department as well.

“Additionally, we ask that you respect the injured member and his family and refrain from starting and/or spreading rumors of false statements on social media,” the statement read.

The statement was signed by Timothy Baldwin, president of the department and Fire Chief Michael Spielman.

The latest condition of Wagaman is not available, but immediately after the mishap news agencies reported he was in critical condition with severe injuries.

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