Hit-and-run injures on-duty volunteer firefighter in Schuylkill County

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FRAILEY TOWNSHIP, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — State police are investigating a hit-and-run in Schuylkill County that injured a volunteer firefighter on duty.

An emotional outpouring from fellow first responders who say accidents like this should never happen.

A fire-policeman is recovering after being struck by a passing vehicle in Schuylkill County. Each year, dozens of emergency responders are killed by drivers not paying attention.

“The thing with the fire and emergency services, EMS services is even though people think its a cliché, it is a family. And you reach out…We’ve got a lot of support,” Donaldson Fire Company assistant fire chief Michael Scheib said.

Scheib had to fight back tears after one of their fire-police was hit by car Tuesday night. At 7:40 p.m., Donaldson Fire Company responded to a fiery car crash at the intersection of East Franklin Road and Route 209 in Frailey Township. The fire- policeman was helping to secure the scene.

“One of our fire-police was stopping traffic and as he was motioning for some of the apparatus to come out of the roadway, a car came through and did not stop and struck him,” Scheib said.

The driver took off and state police are now investigating the hit-and-run. The fire-policeman was flown to the hospital with serious injuries. Scheib says he’s in stable condition.

NEPA saw a similar incident in 2018. 62-year-old Kunkle Fire Department volunteer, Ed Nulton, was hit by a dump truck while directing traffic around a crash. Nulton was critically injured and died one year later.

Roads and highways are one of the most dangerous places to work for emergency responders, according to the Emergency Responder Safety Institute. ERSI reports vehicles struck and killed 44 emergency responders who were working various types of roadway incidents in 2019.

Pennsylvania has tried to combat this with the move-over law. Groups like the U.S. Fire Administration recommend continued public education to raise awareness and reduce the risk.

“Learning what you’re supposed to do but now you got to do it. Not just read about it or study about it,” Scheib said.

Scheib would not say the victim’s name out of respect for his family. Scheib says the fire-policeman is in good spirits and doing much better Wednesday.

He says a fundraiser in the works.

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