NY assistant fire chief dies 4 months after on-duty injury

Whitehall Second Assistant Fire Chief James P. Brooks, 45, died Friday after suffering a torn aorta on the way to a fire call

Duty Death: James P. Brooks Jr. - [Whitehall, New York]

End of Service: 09/18/2020


Gretta Hochsprung
The Post Star, Glens Falls, N.Y.

WHITEHALL, N.Y. — The Whitehall firefighter who suffered a torn aorta on the way to a May 2 fire has died.

Second Assistant Fire Chief James P. Brooks, 45, died around 10:30 a.m. Friday. He succumbed to injuries as a result of an early-morning mutual aid structure fire in Dresden in May.

Brooks had served more than 20 years with the fire company and had been described as a “dedicated member” of the fire department.

The Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company Inc. said Brooks passed away quietly at the home of his sister in Gansevoort, where he was living after being released from Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital in Schenectady on July 31.

Brooks thought he had pulled a muscle in the firetruck responding to the Dresden fire in May. He suffered intense pain while tending to his duties at the scene.

He was transported by Skenesborough Emergency Squad to Rutland Regional Medical Center in Vermont for further evaluation. He was then flown to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont.

During his hospital stay, Brooks suffered many complications, including a blood clot, kidney damage and a heart attack. He was intubated in the ICU until early June.

Brooks also suffered three strokes, leaving him confined to a wheelchair with only the use of his right arm, the fire company reported on Facebook.

After his injury, nearly 300 people donated to a GoFundMe campaign and raised more than $18,000 to help cover his medical expenses.

Fire departments, EMS and police departments from 16 surrounding communities showed support for Brooks on May 23 at the “Drive For Jim” tribute event outside of the Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company.

“The Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company would like to express its condolences to the Brooks family and all the members of the community who came to his aid,” the Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company posted.

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©2020 The Post Star (Glens Falls, N.Y.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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