Pa. firefighter dies in on-duty medical incident

Newport Township Firefighter Joe Nealon, who also served as a firefighter and chaplain in Hanover Township, died unexpectedly on Saturday

Duty Death: Joseph Nealon Jr. - [Nanticoke, Pennsylvania]

End of Service: 05/30/2020

Bob Kalinowski
The Citizens' Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — Members of the fire service in Luzerne County are grieving the unexpected death of a beloved veteran fireman and community advocate who died on duty Saturday in Newport Twp.

Firefighters throughout the area are mourning the loss of Joe Nealon, who died following a medical issue while working with the Newport Twp. Fire Department.

“We are going to miss him. All of us are. We’re all brothers,” said Hanover Twp. Fire Chief Joe Temarantz.

Nealon was a firefighter in Newport Twp., Ashley and Hanover Twp, having got his start in Ashley in 1980. He served as the chaplain in Hanover Twp., tasked with being the prayer leader during trying times like the one now facing the local fire service following Nealon’s death.

“He was dependable, reliable and always willing to lend a hand. He always had a smile on his face. Joe was a friend to all,” said Newport Twp. Fire Chief John Floryshak. “It was really tragic. I still can’t believe it. He is and always was a very well liked man.”

All of the departments Nealon belonged to paid tribute to him on Facebook, and each posted photo tributes to mourn his passing with black bunting adorning the stations.

“This morning the unthinkable happened and we have lost one of our own. With very heavy hearts and tearful eyes we must announce the passing of a very dedicated member of our department: firefighter/chaplain Joseph Nealon Jr. passed away this morning while on his tour of duty with the Newport Township Fire Department,” the Hanover Twp. Fire Department posted. “Joe was the definition of selfless service serving countless years as an emergency medical technician, firefighter, chaplain, and as a police officer. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe’s family during this very difficult time. Rest easy Joe, we will take it from here. God speed brother!”

Newport Twp. Fire Department said the members were experiencing “deep sadness” with having to announce the line-of-duty-death of Nealon.

“Joe was a long time member of the Glen Lyon-Alden Vol Hose Co. Joe will always be remembered for his big smile and loving heart,” the Newport Twp. department wrote. “Joe, your memory will live on forever. We love you my friend and will never forget you. God speed and rest well, and we’ll take it from here.”

The Ashley Fire Department, where Nealon got his start 40 years ago, also praised Nealon.

“It is with a very heavy heart our bunting once again hangs at the 111 station. Life member/past chaplain Joe Nealon Jr. passed away today,” Ashley fire crews wrote. “Our hearts go out to his family. Always here for Ashley Rescue Hose Co. No. 1, Joe was instrumental in the development and managing of the Fireman’s Park. We would kindly ask that you keep his family in your prayers. God speed Joe and God bless.. You are and will be sadly missed.”


©2020 The Citizens' Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)


It is with deep saddness that the Officers and Members regret to announce the Line of Duty Death of active Firefighter...

Posted by Newport Twp Fire Department on Saturday, May 30, 2020


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