LODD: N.Y. FF dies after suffering cardiac arrest between training and fundraiser

Firefighters rushed to help when Island Park Fire Capt. Michael Fischer collapsed

Duty Death: Michael Fischer - [Island Park, New York]

End of Service: 08/14/2022

By Leila Merrill

ISLAND PARK, N.Y. — Island Park Fire Capt. Michael Fischer, 38, died Sunday right before a fundraiser for a child with cancer.

Fischer had been training new members of the department that morning, Newsday reported.

A fire chief told News 12 that firefighters had just put up an arch for the fundraiser and were eating lunch when Fischer went to the bathroom, came out and fell down. He was in cardiac arrest.

A doctor who was at Peter's Clam Bar for the event and fellow firefighters responded quickly.

"It was truly horrific, we've never experienced a line of duty death here in the department before," says Eric Gorton, second assistant chief for the Island Park Fire Department. "It was really traumatizing to some of the younger members, especially the ones that rose up with him."

As the medical emergency happened at the back of the restaurant and most people there did not know about it, the firefighters held the clam-eating contest. Gorton said Fischer would have wanted that. The funds raised are going to help 7-year-old Cooper Graham with medical expenses as he fights cancer.

Funeral arrangements are being made, and Gorton said that a grief counselor will work with the firefighters.


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