Willie Blakely suffered a seizure that resulted in a head injury while on scene at a structure fire with the Erie Fire Department on July 10, 1982. He died from complications of those injuries on October 25, 1982.
Willie joined the department in 1969 as Erie’s fist Black firefighter and EMT. At the time of his death, he was assigned to Squad 2 at Engine 8.
His fellow firefighters remembered Willie as someone who looked out for his teammates and did whatever he could to help people. Well-liked and easygoing, he had exceptional skills in calming and comforting patients in emergency situations.
He served with the United States Army during the Korean War. He was a member of Erie Firefighters Local 293.
Willie was a no-nonsense guy who did his best every day. He was a loving husband and father and a family man.