In Memory of Dr. Harry Carter, Editor – ResponderSafety.com
On June 1, 2001, Dr. Harry Carter wrote the first Editor’s Column for a new website developed by the Emergency Responder Safety Institute (ERSI), a Committee of the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen’s Association (CVVFA). ResponderSafety.com was a new online effort by the members of the ERSI to pass along lifesaving tips, training, and information related to the broad subject of protecting firefighters and other emergency responders from being struck by vehicles while working diverse types of road and highway incidents. Although the dedicated volunteers at ERSI had been working on the subject for about three years at that point, we knew that we needed to work harder to gain visibility and pass along the information and training material that we had collected and developed. Harry answered our request for help without hesitation and with a shared passion for firefighter safety.
Harry passed away on Friday, June 17th, after a prolonged battle with cancer. He left behind over 140 Editor’s Columns on ResponderSafety.com written over a 20-year period. His popularity and status in the fire service helped bring loads of new followers to our website and our efforts to protect firefighters at roadway incidents. Harry was often found holding court in the Responder Safety exhibit booth at fire service conferences and trade shows. His presence in the booth was always a draw for conference attendees and helped to introduce even more people to our efforts. Some of us at Responder Safety have fond memories of time spent in our exhibit booth when both Harry and his close friend Jack Peltier from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy were there together. In addition to meeting dozens of people we would never have met without their introductions, we had the pleasure of listening to their stories about all things firefighting related and their opinions about so much of our fire service culture, history, technology, equipment, apparatus, and training efforts. Those conversations were an education you cannot get from a book or magazine. They were personal conversations with the ability to ask questions and press for more details in real-time. We are sure Harry and Jack have already met again, broke out the cigars, and are holding court with the Good Lord and the many firefighters who have gone before us. We are sure Jack was glad to see his old friend Harry at the same time those of us still here mourn his passing.
Dr. Harry Carter was a valuable and respected member of the Responder Safety team for more than 20 years. He helped our organization gain more visibility throughout the fire service and his wisdom and counsel helped us expand our training resources and do a better job of serving the over 110,000 members of our online Responder Safety Learning Network. Dr. Carter was involved with many aspects of the fire service and Peter Matthews Editor-in-Chief for the Firehouse brand has written about Harry’s many other activities and accomplishments in this online article.
Thank you, Dr. Carter, for your efforts, time, and dedication to ResponderSafety.com and the fire service in general. While we mourn your passing, we will continue to work to protect emergency responders nationwide as they respond to all types of road and highway incidents. Rest in Peace Harry, we will continue the mission with your knowledge, wisdom, and guidance in our hearts and minds.