SAYRE, Pa. (WWNY) – Peyton Morse, the 21-year-old Watertown firefighter who was hospitalized after suffering a medical emergency during a training exercise on March 3, has died.
Watertown Fire Chief Matthew Timerman made the announcement through a news release Friday.
“Firefighter Morse remained in the ICU fighting for his life with his wife and family beside him,” Timerman wrote. “Peyton’s entire life was dedicated to helping people and we would want all of us to continue his mission in life.”
Officials say Morse’s family, along with the Watertown, Shaker Road-Loudonville, and LaFargeville fire departments are thanking people for their support and prayers.
Morse had been participating in an 11-week training course at the State Academy of Fire Science Training in Montour Falls, near Watkins Glen.
He had been working with a breathing apparatus when he became unresponsive. Morse was taken to a hospital in a state-owned van, then flown to a Pennsylvania hospital where he had been listed in critical but stable condition.
State Police are investigating the incident, along with the state’s Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau, or PESH.
The incident prompted some fire departments to remove their recruits from the training program. A spokesperson for the state has told 7 News some of the fire instructors have been administratively removed as investigations are conducted.
Morse’s passion for the fire service was well known. He has been called “a great firefighter,” and volunteered with the LaFargeville Fire Department. When he went to college at Sienna, he joined the Albany-area Shaker Road-Loudonville Fire Department.
Officials say calling hours and funeral arrangements for Peyton Morse will be detailed in a future news release.