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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

After responding to daughter’s car crash, EMT dies of apparent heart attack

In just a few short days, Alycia Danielson’s Facebook page has turned into a tribute to her father. Her snapshots capture a moment from a daddy-daughter dance and another with the two in their Sunday best.

Then, there was that time he planted a giant kiss on her cheek. Her face was scrunched up in the picture – but her grin said it all.

“I love you so much, daddy,” she wrote. “I’ll take good care of mom, I promise. Please watch over us.”

He died Saturday night after suffering an apparent heart attack. He had just rescued 19-year-old Alycia Danielson from a car accident.

Emergency sirens sounded Saturday afternoon, calling first responders to a two-car crash along Route 206 in Byram Township, N.J.

Capt. Eskil “Scott” Danielson, who had volunteered with the Lakeland Emergency Squad for more than 35 years, answered the call and set out for the scene with his fellow EMTs.

“Then about the same time, his daughter called and said, ‘I’m in the accident,’ ” Danielson’s father, Eskil “Skip” Danielson, told The Washington Post on Tuesday.

Upon arrival, his father said, Scott Danielson started to tend to his daughter. He wrapped a cervical collar around her neck and knelt down on the ground to keep her spine stabilized, waiting on an ambulance to transport her to a hospital.

“As he got up, he complained of back pain; we all thought it was positional,” said the elder Danielson, who had also gone to the scene of the accident.

Scott Danielson followed the ambulance to Newton Medical Center and, soon after he got there, “he collapsed,” his family said. He had gone into cardiac arrest.

Skip Danielson said doctors worked on his son for four hours, first at Newton Medical Center and then at Morristown Medical Center, where he later died.

When asked how Danielson had handled his daughter’s accident, the elder Danielson said, “no different than any other on a call that involves a family member.”

“It’s stressful enough when you don’t know the person,” he said, “but it raises the stress level when it’s family.”

However, he said, Alycia Danielson’s injuries were minor and she has since been released from the hospital.

On Monday morning, she posted a picture on Facebook, showing her dancing with her father.

“Shine your light, when you’re gone,” she wrote above the photograph. “Give me the strength, to carry on.”

Scott Danielson, 49, from Andover Borough, came from a family of civil servants.

His father, now retired, served 22 years as chief of the Byram Township Police Department. One of his brothers serves as police chief in Andover Township and another brother is a firefighter in Clifton, N.J.

When Scott Danielson was 14, his father said, he became a “cadet” for the Lakeland Emergency Squad in Sussex County, N.J., which serves Andover Borough, Andover Township and Byram Township. He soon rose through the ranks, eventually serving as a volunteer EMT.

In 2015, his father said, Scott Danielson was named chief of the squad.

He also served as captain of Warren County Communications, a county-wide 911 dispatch center, according to Warren County’s website. He was a member of the Warren County Hazardous Materials Response Team, the emergency management coordinator for Andover Borough and, at one time, a deputy fire warden in the New Jersey State Forest Fire Service, authorities said.

Danielson served three terms on the Andover Borough Council, according to the New Jersey Herald.

“He did whatever people needed done,” his father said. “He loved public service and he lived his love.”

But, his father said: “There was a real competition between his love for his service and for his family.”

Danielson and his wife, Tammy, have two daughters, Alycia and Amanda; and a son, Aaron, a staff sergeant in the Air Force.

“We’re holding up. We’re holding up,” Skip Danielson said about his son. “He’s going to be missed.”

The Lakeland Emergency Squad announced Danielson’s death Saturday night and was closed the next morning.

As news spread about his death, authorities in other communities expressed their condolences.

“Captain Danielson was an invaluable asset to this department and many other public safety agencies in Warren County,” the Washington Township Police Department wrote on Facebook. “Scott always put the public’s safety first and foremost in his work and he was a true professional. He will be missed by many.”

Danielson’s colleagues called his service “immeasurable,” saying they were lucky to have worked with “a man who made such a difference.”

“Rest in peace, Scott,” they added. “We’ll take it from here.”

Danielson’s funeral will be held Thursday morning.

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