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The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has received notice of the following firefighter fatality: NJ

It is in great sadness, that we as a Brotherhood, post the 60th Line Of Duty Death for 2014 from the United States Fire Administration. Fellow Brother Firefighter Richard Choate has made the ultimate sacrifice in love for their fellow man. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends and our Brothers & Sisters with the Byram Township Fire Deptartment.

Richard Choate

Rank: Firefighter
Age: 68
Gender: Male
Status: Volunteer
Years of Service: 23

Date of Incident: 09/08/2014
Time of Incident: 0708hrs
Date of Death: 09/08/2014

Fire Department: Address: PO Box 361, 225 U.S. 206, Andover, NJ 07821
Fire Department Chief: Charles “Chuck” Putz

Incident Description: The Byram Township Fire Department responded to an activated fire alarm incident. Firefighter Choate responded and drove the tanker/tender apparatus to the scene, where he stood-by while personnel investigated. The fire department cleared the scene shortly thereafter, and he fueled the apparatus upon returning to quarters. Members later reported that Choate appeared tired, but did not express any complaints. Approximately 5 hours later, he was found unresponsive inside his personal vehicle, which had run off the road into a wooded area. Police and EMS responded, finding him in cardiac arrest. He was transported to a local hospital with CPR and AED use in progress. He was subsequently pronounced deceased at 1303 hours.

Incident Location: Vicinity of Andover, NJ

Tribute is being paid to Firefighter Richard Choate at

To date, 60 firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2014. Year-to-date and annual USFA firefighter fatality reports are posted online at

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