James P. Brooks Jr.

Second Assistant Fire Chief

On May 2, 2020, while responding to a structure fire, Second Assistant Fire Chief James P. Brooks Jr. thought he pulled a muscle. While tending to his duties when at the scene, Brooks started to feel intense pain. He was transported to the Rutland Regional Medical Center in Vermont where it was determined that he suffered a torn aorta. He was then airlifted to the University of Vermont Medical Center. During this hospital stay, Brooks suffered multiple complications including a blood clot, kidney damage, and a heart attack. A subsequent emergency operation resulted in Brooks experiencing three strokes that left him confined to a wheelchair with only the use of his right arm. Brooks was eventually released from the hospital on July 31, 2020. Brooks passed away, however, at his sister’s residence on September 18, 2020.

Incident Location: Blue Goose Road, Dresden, NY

Fatality status is provisional and may change as USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify fatality incident information.

Department information

Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company
P.O. Box 188
161 Main Street
Whitehall, New York 12887

Chief: Bryan Brooks

Age: 45
Rank: Second Assistant Fire Chief
Classification: Volunteer
Incident date: May 2, 2020 04:00
Date of death: September 18, 2020
Cause of death: Stress/Overexertion
Nature of death: Other
Activity type: Driving/Operating Vehicle/Apparatus
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: Responding
Fixed property use: Residential

Watch America’s Tribute to Fallen Firefighters

Honoring line-of-duty deaths in 2019