West Lanham Hills Volunteer Fire Department

Line of Duty Death

     

Thursday, January 16, 2014  Line of Duty Death Announcement 

 James "Doc" Brooks


It is with deepest regrets that the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department announces a Line of Duty Death (LODD).  James “Doc” Delbert Brooks, a 20-year volunteer member of the Department passed away on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, after suffering a medical emergency while on duty the previous week.  Doc Brooks, 62 years-old, was a resident of Camp Springs, Maryland.


On Monday, January 6, Brooks, a member of the Prince George’s Volunteer Marine Fire Rescue, was winterizing the boats and station in preparation of record low temperatures forecasted for the following day.  Shortly after midnight, while still at the Marina located in Fort Washington, he experienced difficulty breathing and called 911.  Firefighters and paramedics arrived to find Brooks in cardiac arrest and immediately began pre-hospital care.  He was transported to a nearby medical facility and subsequently relocated to Medstar at Washington Hospital Center in “critical” condition.


Doc Brooks was surrounded by his wife, family members, and colleagues throughout his time in the hospital.  Jan Demeritt, Deputy Chief of the Volunteer Marine Fire Rescue, also maintained a constant vigil and was at his bedside when he passed.  “On behalf of the Brooks family, I want to thank everyone for their continued support during this difficult time,” said Demeritt.


Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor stated, “This is indeed a dark time for the Department, in particular, the Volunteer Marine Fire Rescue, as we mourn the passing of a friend and colleague.  Brooks was concerned about how the cold weather would affect the rescue boats and the barge that serves as their station.  He wanted to ensure their readiness, in the event they were called to duty.”


A memorial service with full fire department honors is currently being planned.  Arrangements will be provided as soon as they are available.