USFA On-Duty Death: New York

United States Fire Administration
20 March 2023

The United States Fire Administration has announced the death of Assistant Chief Steve “Bullwinkle” Haskin Harris, 56, of the Fort Johnson Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. on 13 February 2023.

On Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023, Assistant Chief Steve “Bullwinkle” Haskin Harris was at the fire station, attending a Super Bowl Party. While at the station, fire department personnel, including Assistant Chief Harris, were “toned out” for a mutual aid structure fire. He left the department to get Engine 4 from their Station 2 (Engine 5 was out of service at Station 1). Assistant Chief Harris drove his privately owned vehicle to Station 2 to retrieve Engine 4. While there, he was met by a fellow firefighter. Both donned their gear when the other firefighter noticed Assistant Chief Harris was experiencing shortness of breath.

Both left the station in Engine 4, with Assistant Chief Harris as the passenger, enroute to the structure fire. The other firefighter pulled into Station 1 because Assistant Chief Harris’ condition quickly deteriorated and turned into difficulty breathing. He was immediately transported to St. Mary’s Hospital where he was intubated. Shortly after, he went into cardiac arrest. Hospital staff were able to get his heart beat back. He remained in critical but stable condition and was flown to Albany Medical Center the next morning, Monday, Feb. 13, 2023. Unfortunately, Assistant Chief Harris went into multi system organ failure and passed away that same morning.

Age: 56
Rank: 2nd Assistant Chief
Classification: Volunteer
Incident date: February 12, 2023 9:00 p.m.
Date of death: February 13, 2023
Cause of fatal injury: Stress/Overexertion
Nature of fatal injury: Heart Attack
Activity type: Riding Vehicle/Apparatus
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: Responding
Fixed property use: Residential

The number of on-duty deaths for 2023 currently is 15.

Go here to read the number of interior line of duty deaths for 2023.

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

For more information about on-duty deaths as recorded by the United States Fire Administration go to “Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.”

Published by Data Not Drama

Data Not Drama is writings that provide a point of critical thought about firefighter fatality data and education, line of duty deaths, and risk. The main focus is to encourage less risk aversion and better knowledge on the subject of firefighter fatalities in firefighters, fire departments, and fire service organizations.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: