National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Joseph M. Vagnier

Submitted by his Father

National EMS Memorial Service Honoree

Joseph M. Vagnier

Monroeville Fire Department
Monroeville‚ Pennsylvania

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.

Honored 1998

Memorial Posts


Memorial Wall

  • (will not be published)

  1. Matt & Linda Please know we will never forget your son. He was a joy to all of us and we are so proud of him.

    – Jeanne & Bob
  2. I will always remember joe (scrappy) and thankful that i had the honor to work and train with the young man. Rest in peace brother i will see you on the top floor

    – Dennid muschick
  3. I will never forget the heartache of that tragedy. We, at MVFC4, lost a brother, friend and a great FF/EMT. The times and camaraderie that we all shared was priceless!! I cannot fathom that it has been 19 years? I will forever remember you “Sepi.” Luv ya brother!!

    – Scott Feyes
  4. Great friend who is dearly missed. I’ll never forget you buddy!

    – Eric Valentine
  5. Matt & Linda, I worked with Joe at the U.S. Steel Plant (Edgar Thomson Works) in Braddock. He was an awesome co-worker and great friend. He was always a bundle of laughs and had a very kind heart. Every year, I visit he memorial site and say a little prayer. I really miss him. He has touched a lot of hearts. May he RIP and watch over his fellow firefighters to guide them to do their job and be safe.

    – David Gregg, Sr.
  6. My dad was around him during this incident. He worked with him at #4 and says he was a wonderful man. May he rest in peace.

    – Ben Varga
  7. Twenty-four years have passed and I still think about Joe often. I feel fortunate to have known him and experienced his energy and humor. Love ya buddy.

    – John Hall