Submitted by his Father
National EMS Memorial Service Honoree
Joseph M. Vagnier
Monroeville Fire Department
During the July 1st floods that hit Monroeville and Pitcairn‚ Joe Vagnier died in an attempt to rescue people believed trapped in an overturned vehicle. He was at the safety ropes tie-off point when two other firefighters were swept under four feet of rushing water estimated at 30 mph. It was believed at that point Joe tightened the slack in the line to help the other two people and was pulled in himself. The others were saved but Joe was found pinned under the right rear tires of a thirty-foot panel truck. The rescue team had already completed three previous rescues pulling stranded victims from vehicles in the rushing waters. Joe’s cause of death was drowning. He was 21 years old when he died on July 3‚ 1997.
Joe served Monroeville Fire Co. #4 as an EMT/Firefighter. His EMS activities included EMT/Driver with the ambulance and a Rescue Technician. Calls ranged from medical to vehicle accidents and other specialized rescue calls.
Joe is survived by his parents‚ Matt and Linda Vagnier‚ and two brothers‚ Matt Jr. and Jon Paul.