Pa. assistant fire chief, EMT dies from COVID-19

Pioneer Hose Company #1 Assistant Fire Chief Robert Zerman may have contracted the virus while responding to a medical call last month, officials said

By Laura French

ROBESONIA, Pa. — A Pennsylvania assistant fire chief, EMT and 911 dispatcher died last week due to COVID-19. 

Pioneer Hose Company #1 Assistant Fire Chief Robert Zerman, 49, died Thursday and was honored with a procession of emergency vehicles on Friday. More than two dozen agencies participated in the procession. 


Yesterday we assisted the Zerman Family and Pioneer Hose Company #1 Station 26 Of Robesonia bringing home Assistant Chief Robert Zerman one final time. Thank you to all who showed their support along the procession route. For those who were unable to pay their respects along the procession, here is a short video of the procession. Thank you to the following agencies who showed their support in and along the procession. Sorry if we missed anyone. -Western Berks Ambulance Association -Womelsdorf Volunteer Fire Company -Frystown Fire Company -Keystone Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 -Goodwill Fire Co. -Bernville Community Fire Company -Greenfields Fire Company - Bern Twp -Township of Spring Fire Rescue Services -Brecknock Township Volunteer Fire Department -Shillington Fire Company -Cumru Township Fire Department -Mohnton Fire Company -Kenhorst Fire Company -West Reading Fire Department -Adamstown Fire Company -Earl Township Vol. Fire Co. No.1 -PA State Police -South Lebanon Township Police Department -Lebanon City Police -South Heidelberg Township Police Department -Lower Heidelberg Township Police -Sinking Spring Borough Police Department -Spring Township Police Department -Wyomissing Borough Police -Southern Berks Regional EMS -Northern Berks Emergency Medical Services -Myerstown First Aid Unit -Life Lion EMS -Berks DES

Posted by Western Berks Fire Department on Saturday, April 18, 2020

Zerman was previously an EMT for Western Berks Ambulance and volunteered with Newmanstown Ambulance Co., Northern Berks EMS and Berks County 911, according to a statement from the Western Berks Ambulance Association. Prior to joining Pioneer Hose Company #1, he served as deputy chief at the Western Berks Fire Department. 

Western Berks Ambulance Association CEO Anthony Tucci told WFMZ that Zerman is believed to have contracted COVID-19 in the line of duty. A statement from the association said Zerman tested positive after responding to a medical assist call for Pioneer Hose Company #1 in March. 

Zerman is survived by two sons, two grandchildren and two brothers, according to his obituary


The Western Berks Fire department regretfully announces the passing of past Deputy Fire Chief Robert Zerman. Robert...

Posted by Western Berks Fire Department on Thursday, April 16, 2020


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