The Hanover Fire Department tells CBS 21 News that a volunteer firefighter has died due to a medical emergency after being involved in a vehicle crash on his way to a fire in York County.
The fire broke out just after 9 a.m. Saturday.
The Fire Chiefs and Firefighters Association of York County released the following statement:
“It is with deep regret that Chief Jan Cromer announces the passing of Earl Shoemaker from Station 46. FF Shoemaker passed awhile while driving Air 46 to a working fire in a 52 box. He was a 40+ year volunteer firefighter with Station 46 and was still very active. All preliminary indication is that the accident was a result of some type of medical issue. As we find out additional information on funeral arrangements we will advise everyone.”
Shoemaker, 68, was a member of Eagle Fire Company.
The Hanover Fire Department says Shoemaker was driving a fire truck to the scene of a large fire in the 500 block of Pumping Station Rd. in West Manheim Township when the crash happened.
“The nurse that was doing our first aid training and I and another bystander that saw the accident happen, ran down the engine and we found, unfortunately, the driver was non-responsive and hurt,” Ivan Cornwell said.
The fire apparatus he was operating reportedly failed to negotiate a curve near 95 Pumping Station Rd.
EMS was dispatched to the crash just after 9:30 a.m.
“Trying to get him out of the one passenger door and we couldn’t get him over the console like to get him out, and they were having a hard time getting around the driver’s door because the bottom of the truck was this high up, and it was a major ordeal and this little creek,” Lou Hardee said.
Shoemaker was taken to Hanover Hospital where he died an hour later.
“I’ll probably be calling other people from other platoons and send those that were working today home,” Jan Cromer, the fire chief of the Hanover Fire Department, said.
An autopsy has been scheduled for Monday morning at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown.
West Manheim police will continue to investigate the accident.