PHILLIPSBURG, Ohio (WDTN) – A Phillipsburg firefighter hospitalized with the H1N1 virus died Thursday morning at Sycamore Hospital.
It has been an emotional period for the Phillipsburg Fire Department as one of their own struggled to survive in the hospital.
“It seemed like he was rallying because there was a day they didn’t think he would make it through the night and he made it,” said Lt. Nick Magoteaux with the Phillipsburg Fire Department. “It was giving us real good hope that he was fighting this thing.”
Phillipsburg firefighter Art Springer was hospitalized in early January after he was diagnosed with double pneumonia. Doctors quickly discovered it was caused by the H1N1 virus.
Magoteaux said Springer was taken out of a medically induced coma when doctors discovered they were not able to save him.
“This was truly his passion and he loved every minute of being a firefighter,” said Magoteaux. “We want to make sure we honor him properly.”
The Phillipsburg Fire Department began raising money when Springer was admitted into the hospital.
Shirts with the slogan “Brothers Helping Brothers” were being sold through an online fundraising campaign.
In a little more than a week, nearly 250 had been sold bringing in about $5000.
“We were really hoping to just sell 50,” said Magoteaux. “It’s been really heartfelt and great to see the community supporting one of our fellow firefighters.”
The amount of support has inspired the Phillipsburg Fire Department to continue their fundraising efforts.
The fire department is still planning benefits for Springer’s family to help cover funeral expenses.
“All the money that we’re raising will be going to cover his final resting expenses and the rest of the money will be going to his 13-year-old daughter in the form of a trust fund,” said Magoteaux.
A funeral for Art Springer is set for February 1 as the Living Hope Church in Centerville. Visitation begins at 10 a.m. with the burial following shortly after at 2 p.m.