George Wohl, Jr

 Past Capt David Jahnes

A Congers firefighter died over the weekend after he apparently slipped from a ladder and struck his head as he responded to a fire alarm.

Kathryn Wohl called 911, and Clarkstown Police and emergency services workers responded at 2:55 p.m. He was airlifted from Rockland Lake's north parking lot by to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla.

By 3:15 p.m., the fire department had been called to set up a landing zone, Wren said. "It was a very quick response by police and emergency personnel," Wren said. Wohl died Saturday night.

Wohl was a 34-year veteran of the department whose sons, John and George III, are volunteers for the Congers department. His father also was a volunteer and his brother, Chris Wohl, is a Congers fire commissioner. His wife, Kathryn, is active in the department's Ladies Auxiliary.

"For three decades, George Wohl served the people of his hometown, bringing a smile to the faces of everyone he came across," Congers Fire Chief Phil Leto said yesterday. "He was always available to help out any time we asked, and we will miss him tremendously."

So many members of the family were in the department, a common joke among firefighters was the Congers firehouse had "10 Wohls and one roof."

"He had two families, the family he was born into and the fire department," Wren said last night. "They're all pulling together now."

Wohl also was an electrician with Local 363 and an amateur historian. He collected postcards depicting Congers at the turn of the 20th century. He was the fire company's historian. He knew the history of just about every building in Congers and was a railroad buff, his fellow firefighters recalled.

"The Congers Fire Department has lost an invaluable member of its ranks," said Congers Fire Department President Frank Voce. "George was always a friendly face around the firehouse who was always willing to help his brother firefighters and the community he so loved."

The 2:54 p.m. alarm that Wohl heard was false, from an apparent alarm malfunction.

He and Kathryn Barry married 30 years ago. Their son John lives in Congers and George III lives in Highland Mills. Wohl is also survived by a sister, Barbara Sharp, Elma, N.Y. His parents, George O. and Elaine Kern Wohl, are deceased.


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