Lawmakers have introduced a bill to add vascular rupture to the list of injuries covered under the Volunteer Firefighters’ Benefit Law in honor of a Whitehall firefighter who died in September after suffering a line-of-duty injury last May.
James Brooks was second assistant chief of the Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company and was responding to a fire call in Dresden on May 2. He was reaching for his radio when he suffered an aortic rupture. He initially thought he had pulled a muscle and had intense pain when responding to the scene.
Brooks spent months at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont. He had three strokes, which confined him to a wheelchair and left him with the use of only his right arm.
Brooks died from his injuries on Sept. 17. Brooks had served in the department for 27 years.
He had accumulated about a million dollars in medical expenses during his hospital stay.