NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A retired FDNY fire marshal died Monday from complications caused by coronavirus.
John Knox was 84-years-old and had been sickened by the COVID-19 virus for about a week. He died at Mt. Sinai South Nassau Medical Center in Oceanside.
Knox founded the FDNY union that represents the fire marshals and investigated hundreds of fires in the 1970s and 1980s.
Originally a resident of Queens, the former FDNY fire marshal was still investigating cases as a private consultant well into his eighties.
Knox had pre-existing medical conditions stemming from his work at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
Following his death, there were calls for firefighters to be among the first to be tested for coronavirus whenever new testing kits became available.
WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell notes the firefighters are often the first ones responding to medial calls and are at greater risk of becoming infected.
“We’re asking for quicker testing with quicker results,” said Gerard Fitzgerald, president of the Firefighters Union.
Members already have extra equipment to go with their helmets, bunker coats and boots – but Fitzgerald says they need more.
“When it comes to medical runs, now we need masks, eye shields, gowns, gloves,” he said.
Fitzgerald says police officers and nurses should also be given the same testing priority.