A 38-year-old fire lieutenant with the Lancaster Township Fire Department (LTFD) collapsed and died of an apparent cardiac issue during a live burn training exercise with the Lancaster County Fire School on Sunday morning, according to a news release from the fire department and a local news agency.
Local news agency, Intelligencer Journal of Lancaster, said Rankin, who had been running the live burn at the fire school, was talking with fellow firefighters when he collapsed with no warning. Some of the members of the 25 towns attending the school performed CPR on Rankin, but he never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at Lancaster General Hospital. An autopsy was scheduled for Sunday, but the local coroner said Sunday night that Rankin's death appeared to be from natural causes, the Intelligencer Journal reported.
The newspaper reported that Rankin was a 23-year volunteer with the Lancaster Township Fire Department, worked full-time as a constable and leaves behind his wife Abby and two stepdaughters.
As of Sunday night, funeral arrangements had not been finalized, but Rankin was expected to be honored with a full-firefighter's funeral.