Community mourns loss of firefighter, friend
A GoFundMe account has been created in memory of Erik Hirner, assistant fire chief of Charotin Hose Company No. 1, North Catasauqua, who was involved in a crash in Berks County May 25 and died from his injuries a few days later.
Hirner, 38, of North Catasauqua, was a life member of the North Catasauqua station, as well as an 11-year veteran of Reading Fire Department.
According to reports, Hirner was on his way to work May 25 when his motorcycle was struck by an SUV in Maidencreek Township. Police said the driver of the SUV lost control at the top of a hill and struck a Jeep before hitting Hirner’s motorcycle.
Hirner’s injuries were reported as critical. He died May 27.
The GoFundMe memorial account had an original goal of $20,000 but was quickly increased to $30,000 as contributions continued throughout the holiday weekend. By Wednesday morning, the amount raised had reached $25,044.
To donate, visit gofundme.com/erik- hirner.
“Erik was a great friend to all and a great firefighter,” Michael Shoumlisky, who organized the effort, wrote on the fund’s page. “Please consider assisting his family with expenses by making a small donation to this fund, and please keep Erik’s family and friends in your prayers in this most difficult of times.”
Members of Charotin Hose Company No. 1 announced the news of Hirner’s death on the station’s Facebook page.
“It is with great sadness that we are announcing the passing of Assistant Chief Erik Hirner. Erik was critically injured in a motorcycle accident May 25 on his way to work. There are no words to describe what we are feeling right now, and we don’t know if there ever will be.”
One of many contributors to the GoFundMe account included a few words that seemed to resonate with others: “Rest in peace, bro. For a relatively quiet dude, you sure left a profound impact on many of us.”