Illinois Fire Service Institute

 

Firefighter Record

Firefighter Details

Name G.F.W. Schevers
Agency Springfield Fire Department
Rank Chief
Type of Firefighter Career
Age Range 41 to 45
Sex Male
Date of Birth 0/0/0
Date of Death 1/10/1905
Cause of Death Vehicle collision
Nature of Death Trauma
Attribute of Death [not applicable]
Type of Duty Responding to/returning from incident

Incident Details

Incident Name N/A
Incident City Springfield
Incident State IL
Incident Date 1/10/1905 21:30
Incident Location Street/Road
Incident Attribute Traffic accidents , Blizzards

Incident Summary

On January 10, 1905, Chief G.F.W. Schevers of the Springfield Fire Department died in the line of duty when his fire wagon collided with a train while responding to a fire alarm.

The accident occurred around 9:30PM, as Schevers was driving the wagon with two passengers at the intersection of Seventh and Madison Streets. Due to the darkness and heavy snow, he did not see the train until moments before the collision. Already traveling at considerable speed, Schevers tried to turn the horse to run parallel to the train, but the wagon skidded and smashed into the side of the train engine. As the wagon came apart, one firefighter was thrown clear, and another was able to grab onto the train engine’s handrail, but Schevers was caught under the train and was dragged for several hundred feet until the train could be stopped. Incidentally, Schevers had been hit and dragged by a streetcar a few weeks earlier, and he had been thrown from his fire wagon in a different traffic accident the day before the collision with the train.

Schevers was unconscious when the other firefighters reached him, and he was immediately rushed to St. John’s Hospital. Doctors tried to revive him, but he succumbed to his severe injuries one hour later. He was survived by his widow, three sons (one a firefighter riding in the fire wagon at the time of the accident), and one daughter.

Citations:

“Chief Schevers dies in race to duty’s call” Illinois State Journal, January 11, 1905.


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