Mich. fire captain who suffered brain bleed while responding to call dies
Monroe Township Fire Department Capt. Joseph Liedel, a nearly 30-year veteran of the department, died nearly one month after collapsing in his driveway
Duty Death: Joseph Liedel - [Monroe, Michigan]
End of Service: 08/24/2020
Update August 24, 2020: Monroe Township Fire Department Capt. Joseph Liedel has died after suffering a brain bleed while responding to a call last month.
Liedel had been in critical condition in the hospital since July 31, when he collapsed in his driveway while preparing to respond to a service call.
"It is with profound sadness and a heavy heart that Monroe Township Fire Department share with you the line of duty death of Joseph Liedel, Captain with Monroe Township Fire Department," the department wrote in a Facebook post Sunday night. "Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
Monroe News, Mich.
MONROE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Even those who dedicate their lives to helping others sometimes need support too.
That's why the Monroe Township Fire Department is seeking financial support for one of its brother firefighters who remains in critical but stable condition after suffering an unexpected brain bleed.
Capt. Joseph Liedel, who has been a firefighter for nearly 30 years, was at his Monroe Township home when his fire pager sounded for a service call about 8 p.m. July 31.
As he prepared to respond, Liedel collapsed in his driveway, and a neighbor immediately called 911, which, coincidentally, meant his colleagues soon would come to his rescue.
"I had no idea that it was Joe," said Lt. Calvin Schmitt, one of the first to respond. "When we arrived, we recognized his fire department T-shirt, and I radioed the chief to come to the scene...
"Med(ical) calls are always tough, but when you're helping family or a colleague, I don't know a good way to describe how I felt, but your anxiety goes up. You just want to provide the best medical care possible."
Liedel subsequently was transported to ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital by Monroe Community Ambulance. After being evaluated by an emergency room doctor, he was found to have a serious, potentially life-threatening, brain bleed.
"It's a shock," said Chief Mark Cherney. "It's tough. We view this every day; we always take care of people, but then to take care of one of our own, it ramps it up a little bit more...
"It's tough to see one of your own laying there and having to take care of him."
Advanced Life Support was established, and he was flown to ProMedica Toledo Hospital, where he remains listed in critical condition.
So far, his treatment plan is unknown, but expected to be difficult, firefighters said.
"Its kind of a hard situation for us because nobody can see him but his dad" because of COVID-19 restrictions, Cherney said. "We are getting information from his dad every day, about once a day or something. It's hard that way; I can't even go see one of my guys.
"We're just taking it day by day and praying."
The Monroe Township Firefighter's Association has since created a GoFundMe page, with support from Liedel's family, to offset the costs of medical expenses and otherwise help with any other financial needs.
Firefighters are asking those who are able to consider donating to support his recovery.
"Joe has spent most of his life serving his community, but now he needs our help," the GoFundMe post said. "Our hope is these funds raised will help alleviate his financial burdens so that he can focus on his health and getting back to serving his community."
Liedel has been a Monroe Township firefighter for 28 years.
Coming from a firefighting background, his father, Jim Liedel, retired from the City of Monroe Fire Department. In his youth, he was involved in the fire explorer training program through Monroe Township.
He has served as a firefighter, lieutenant and now captain.
"I lost a vital part of my operation right now, so that's always a tough thing to try to keep going through that," Churney said.
To donate, visit GoFundMe.com/f/helping-captain-joe-liedel or call 241-6061 to ask how to help.
©2020 Monroe News, Mich.