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LODD: N.Y. chief suffers medical emergency in fire engine, dies

Fort Johnson Volunteer Fire Company Assistant Chief Steve “Bullwinkle” Haskin Harris, 56, served in the fire service for 40 years


Photo/Town of Mohawk Fire Department

Duty Death: Second Assistant Chief Steve “Bullwinkle” Haskin Harris - [Fort Johnson]

End of Service: 12/02/2023

By Leila Merrill

FORT JOHNSON, N.Y. — Second Assistant Chief Steve “Bullwinkle” Haskin Harris, 56, died on Feb. 13 after suffering a medical emergency the day before, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

Harris was at a Super Bowl party at Fort Johnson Volunteer Fire Company’s (FJVFC) Station 1 when he and other crewmembers on duty toned out for a mutual aid fire.

Harris drove his vehicle to get a fire engine from another station since the engine for Station 1 was out of service. While at Station 2, a fellow firefighter noticed that Harris was experiencing shortness of breath. Both headed toward the structure fire. Harris was not driving.

His condition deteriorated quickly, the other firefighter noticed, and they stopped at Station 1 instead of the fire.

EMS providers transported Harris to St. Mary’s Hospital, where he went into cardiac arrest.

Hospital staffers restored Harris’ heartbeat, and he was in critical but stable condition when he was transported to Albany Medical Center for further treatment. He later went into multisystem organ failure at the medical center and died that morning.

Harris served in the fire service for 40 years, according to the USFA. He is survived by his children and sister.