Strasburg First Responder dies at 26

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

STRASBURG — Strasburg’s fire department and rescue squad lost one of their volunteers last weekend.

Michael Alexander Nixon, 26, died at Shenandoah Memorial Hospital on Saturday, Jan. 30. No cause of death was given.

Nixon was born on May 14, 1989, and graduated from Strasburg High School in 2007, according to his obituary.

Jeff Wharton, chief of the Strasburg Fire Department, said Nixon grew up in Strasburg and was a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician with the department for five years.

Shenandoah County Fire Chief Gary Yew said Nixon was also an active member of the Strasburg Volunteer Rescue Squad. Adam Galton, the squad’s chief, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Wharton said Nixon “had a big heart” and loved his work.

“He was like a son to me,” Wharton said. “I could always rely on him no matter what. He was always willing to help the community, and did in so many ways.”

Wharton said Nixon was an extrication specialist with the fire department. He said Nixon also stood by with an ambulance crew at high school sports games, the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester and other events.

“And he did it all for free,” he said. “It’s hard to find those types of guys.”

Nixon’s parents, John and Melody Nixon, and his brother, Chris, are also members of the rescue squad, according to its membership list.

Nixon’s family held a viewing at Stover Funeral Home in Strasburg on Tuesday. His funeral was held at St. Paul Lutheran Church on Wednesday.

Yew said the county held a critical incident stress debriefing this week for Strasburg firefighters, EMTs and rescue personnel seeking counseling.

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