From our good friend Billy Goldfeder:
The North American fire service lost a true pioneer and legend on February 9, 2019 when Chief Robert H. Murray, Jr. (retired) of the Meadowood County Area Fire Department in southwestern New Hampshire passed away at 84. While you may not recognize his name, Bob's historic contributions to the fire service are so great that he impacted every one of us in shaping several facets of the way we take care of business every day. Please take a moment to learn about our old friend and keep his family in your thoughts.
Chief Robert H. Murray, Jr. was born April 1, 1934 and grew up in Nashua, NH, the son of a major league baseball player. Bob served in the United States Army's 10th Mountain Division and was deployed to Austria as an alpine ski instructor, preparing soldiers for winter combat operations. He returned to New Hampshire and joined the City of Keene Fire Department's call company while commencing a teaching career. He later developed EMS and rescue programs for and taught them at the University of Maryland Fire & Rescue Institute (MFRI) and was a live-in member of the College Park Volunteer Fire Department, Company 12 in Prince Georges County in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Chief Murray became involved with the United States Department of Transportation's efforts to address motor vehicle accident-related fatalities. Through this initiative, he became a key contributor in developing the concept of an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification and helped shape the original scope of practice. In the early 1970's, Bob co-authored the original Brady's Emergency Care emergency medical technician textbook (well known as "the yellow book") and related curriculum package with his long-time writing and teaching partner Harvey Grant (from Delaware), which was followed by several subsequent revisions over the next two decades. The pair went on pioneer the original vehicle rescue techniques that laid the groundwork for today's extrication standards and Chief Murray became a world-renown vehicle and technical rescue instructor. He later merged his passions for high quality emergency medical care, rescue, and alpine skiing as a long-time member of the National Ski Patrol.
After a stint as the Massachusetts Director of Emergency Medical Services, Chief Murray again returned to New Hampshire and rose through the ranks of the Meadowood County Area Fire Department, a unique private non-profit fire department whose mission was to provide mutual aid assistance with specialty equipment and operate a regional training center. Through Chief Murray's leadership, Meadowood offered numerous regional firsts, including tower ladder and heavy/technical rescue services and the department adopted a regional underwater and swift water rescue team. The true gift of Meadowood, however, was the "fire school". From the late 1970s through the 1990s, tens of thousands of firefighters from all over New England and Eastern Canada received training in all disciplines of firefighting, technical rescue, and hazardous materials response under Chief Murray's command.
Chief Murray will be warmly remembered as a great guy who was an incredibly creative and talented educator with an uncanny ability to deliver training in a way that made the experience meaningful for every student-by making connections on a personal level. He was instrumental in modernizing the American emergency medical service system that serves millions of sick and injured patients annually. He absolutely "lived" his life as a rescue Firefighter who developed the original vehicle rescue techniques, and several of his concepts are still taught in extrication classes today. Chief Murray's legacy, though, will be the literally countless lives he saved by sharing his wealth of knowledge with others and the strong mentorship he provided to so many young firefighters and fire officers throughout his decades of service. Rest in peace, Chief Robert H. Murray, Jr.
Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On.
The Secret List 2/15/2019-0935 Hours