Va. Firefighter-Paramedic Killed in Vehicle Accident


 
 

| Tuesday, April 1, 2008


RICHMOND, Va. -- A Henrico County (Va.) firefighter-paramedic died early Sunday after he became pinned between a tree and a vehicle at his home in what authorities described as an accident.

Joseph J. Ritzenthaler, 30, of New Kent County also was a paramedic in the Army Reserve who served in Iraq in 2003.

"He was engaged to be married in August," Henrico fire Capt. Douglas Reynolds said last night.

Rescue workers responding to a 5:45 a.m. call in the 8900 block of Piney Branch Lane in Providence Forge found Ritzenthaler trapped. They pulled him out, provided medical care and took him to VCU Medical Center, where he later was pronounced dead, according to the New Kent Sheriff's Office.

Ritzenthaler may have been trying to start the vehicle to go to work, authorities said. The vehicle lurched forward, trapping him against the tree.

The firefighter and paramedic would have completed his sixth year with Henrico Division of Fire this summer. He also worked part-time at the VCU Medical Center emergency room, Reynolds said.

Ritzenthaler enlisted in the Army Reserve at age 19 and was still active, Reynolds said. He was a paramedic sergeant with the military police.

Before coming to Henrico, he worked for Richmond Ambulance Authority and was a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Williamsburg, Reynolds said.

"He was a well-liked person within the division [Henrico]," the fire captain said. "He's certainly going to be missed by the people who worked with him."

Contact Juan Antonio Lizama at (804) 649-6513 or jlizama@timesdispatch.com




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Non-Line of Duty Deaths

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

PulsePoint PSA, San Diego

App will allow trained San Diego residents to respond to nearby cardiac arrest c
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

California Beach Lightning Strike MCI

More than a dozen injured in Venice Beach lighting strike.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Item on Iowa Helicopter Helps Save Patient’s Life

Supply of blood recently added to LifeFlight helicopter.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Shooting Inside Pennsylvania Hospital

Early reports of one person dead in Darby hospital.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >