It is with a very heavy heart that we inform you that the Fire Service profession & FireFighterCloseCalls/The Secret List has lost a friend in the Line of Duty.
At approximately 2230 hours last night (Wednesday) Comstock Township (Kalamazoo County) Fire Chief Ed Switalski was struck and killed in the Line of Duty while he worked at a crash scene on I-94. Chief Switalski was standing at the rear of his command vehicle returning equipment to service when another vehicle entered the scene striking the Chief and the rear of his vehicle.
Comstock Firefighters and the entire EMS system did their very best to save his life but his injures were just too severe to survive. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Comstock Fire had followed all best practices yet the driver somehow made it around a blocking engine.
It should be noted that this “stretch” of I-94 has a long history of tragic outcomes.
While you will read more in the coming days, Chief Switalski, was a true hero and beloved friend to the Illinois, Michigan and US fire service. Among many accomplishments, he received the medal of valor for his actions involving the Line of Duty death of a firefighter as a member of the Pleasantview FPD, IL in 1989.
We will post additional updates as soon as they are available.
Our sincere condolences to all involved and especially his wife Holly and his daughters Emily and Allison along with the Comstock Firefighters.
NOTE: There is NO COST, FREE certified online training for all Firefighters and EMT’s – this is another reminder of the importance of that training. Please take advantage of this program.