Eagle fire captain dies after back surgery

sdeter@idahostatesman.comNovember 22, 2013 

Brandon Erickson is shown during a training exercise with the Meridian Fire Department.

PROVIDED BY THE MERIDIAN FIRE DEPARTMENT

Treasure Valley firefighters are mourning the loss of one of their own.

Eagle Fire Department Capt. Brandon Erickson died Thursday after a complication from back surgery, officials said. He was 36.

Erickson underwent surgery on Wednesday. It was his second procedure since June 2012, when he was injured on a call while working with the Meridian Fire Department, Meridian fire spokeswoman Natalie Podgorski said.

Erickson hurt his back while lifting an EMT bag that weighed about 60 pounds, Podgorski said.

Erickson started with Eagle in April 2013. Before that, he spent five years working for the Meridian Fire Department as a firefighter and paramedic.

“Brandon is a community hero, not just for helping our citizens in need but for bettering the lives of all who knew him,” Meridian Fire Chief Mark Niemeyer said in a news release. “Brandon was so compassionate, he had a continued thirst for knowledge and always worked to find the good in humanity. When we were waiting for our new EMS Chief, Brandon gladly filled the role for 6 months and was an incredible asset for us. To know Brandon was to love him. He will be greatly missed.”

“Brandon was one of the best instructors - one of the best people - I’ve ever known," said Eagle fire Chief Mike Winkle. "If I had a firefighter who was having trouble mastering a skill, I took him to Brandon. He found a way to connect with everyone. It was his gift. This is a tremendous loss for our agency and for fire/EMS personnel across the country.”

Erickson leaves behind a wife, son and daughter, and an account has been set up in his name at Idaho Central Credit Union to help the family.

The Ada County coroner was conducting an autopsy, Podgorski said, but the results were unavailable late Friday.

Details about services to honor Erickson are expected to be released soon. They will be posted at IdahoStatesman.com.

Sean Deter: 377-6450; Twitter: IDS_Deter

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