Volunteer firefighter dies during rescue call in Essex

She had cardiac arrest while giving medical care

May 19, 2004|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF

A volunteer firefighter from Middle River died Monday after going into cardiac arrest while on an emergency call, making her the first female firefighter in Baltimore County to die in the line of duty, officials said yesterday.

Connie C. Bornman, 57, died shortly after she responded to a call to a home in the 1100 block of Old Eastern Ave. in Essex. She was giving medical care to a patient who was having chest pains when she began feeling ill.

As the emergency workers prepared to transport the Old Eastern Avenue patient, Bornman went into full cardiac arrest, said Mark G. Falkenhan, chief of the Middle River Volunteer Ambulance Rescue Company. She was taken to Franklin Square Hospital Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Her line-of-duty death also was the first for the volunteer company. Bornman is the 38th Baltimore County career or volunteer firefighter to die in the line of duty, county fire officials said.

A licensed emergency medical technician and a Middle River volunteer for nearly five years, Bornman had responded to five emergency calls the day she died. She was consistently one of the volunteer company's top five responders, Falkenhan said.

She spent one year as a lieutenant. For the past year, she concentrated on raising money for the company.

"She was so dedicated," Falkenhan said.

"We have quite a young, active membership, and a lot of people thought of Connie as a mentor," he added. "So they're taking this very rough."

Bornman and her husband, George E. Bornman Jr., began volunteering at the urging of one of their three sons, John, who had become a volunteer firefighter about a year before them, Falkenhan said.

The couple often responded to calls together and remained active members since they joined, Falkenhan said. They live less than a mile from the rescue station.

A full fire department funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Connelly Funeral Home, 300 Mace Ave. in Essex. Viewings will be at the same location from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow and from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday.

Bornman will be buried at the fallen firefighters memorial at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium.

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