Emergency crews mourning sudden loss of Henrico volunteer EMT

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico emergency crews are mourning the sudden loss of a Henrico volunteer EMT.  Wilbur Fraenzel was on duty at the Henrico Volunteer Rescue Squad near the airport when he went into cardiac arrest.

His supervisors are talking to NBC12 about the loss.

The rescue squad responds to a number of emergencies daily.  But on Monday, they tried desperately to save one of their own.

"His crew was working on him until firemen got here," says Captain Jerry Colgin.

Fraenzel was on duty when he went into cardiac arrest.  His supervisors say other volunteers and firefighters tried to save him, but he later died at the hospital.

"It is a great loss when we lose somebody so young," says Captain Colgin.

So young, but Fraenzel had already made a big impact.  He had been a volunteer on the squad for five years.  And just this year, supervisors say he had already logged 700 hours at the station.

"He he was like  'Johnny on the Spot," says Capt. Colgin.  "He was there and he would do anything he had to do to save somebody's life."

Fraenzel's supervisors say he was a squad leader and a CPR instructor to new members.  It was that kind of dedication his training officer, Stuart Madison, came to admire.

"He was always ready to give a hand to somebody when they needed it," he said.

Madison says Fraenzel would sometimes show up even when he wasn't on the schedule and says the 30-year-old had big plans.

"His goal was to become a paramedic RN and eventually becoming a flight medic," says Madison.

Plans that are now just some of the memories his volunteer squad family will share as they prepare to say goodbye.

Friends tell NBC12 that Fraenzel was dealing with some health problems, but supervisors say he did have a doctor's clearance to be a volunteer and to take on the responsibilities of an EMT.

Funeral plans have not yet been set.

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