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William A. Wheeler

Fire Police Officer

Fire Police Officer Wheeler was responding to a motor vehicle crash with other members of his fire department. He was driving his personal vehicle, a pickup truck. As he responded to the scene, Fire Police Officer Wheeler suffered a heart attack. His vehicle left the roadway and crashed into a utility pole. The airbag deployed during the crash but there was no damage to the interior of the cab. Firefighters working at the scene of the original crash were informed of another crash involving a fire department member. Firefighters responded to the scene and found Fire Police Officer Wheeler behind the wheel in respiratory and cardiac arrest. Fire Police Officer Wheeler was rapidly extricated and provided with ALS-level emergency care on the scene. He was transported to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The cause of death was listed as a cardiac arrhythmia with congestive heart failure due to a recent myocardial infarct due to occlusion of a coronary artery. Fire Police Officer Wheeler was wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash.
photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
William A. Wheeler was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.

Department information

Saxton Volunteer Fire Department
8th and Norris Street
P.O. Box 115
Saxton, Pennsylvania 16678

Chief: Mark Taylor

Age: 67
Rank: Fire Police Officer
Classification: Volunteer
Incident date: September 20, 2003 01:20
Date of death: September 20, 2003
Cause of death: Stress/Overexertion
Nature of death: Heart Attack
Activity type: Driving/Riding Personal Vehicle
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: Responding
Fixed property use: Street/Road

Last updated: June 13, 2012

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Honoring line-of-duty deaths in 2019