Friends remember Pa. EMS manager for her dedication, compassion
Eureka Fire-Rescue EMS Manager Shannon McKruit was described as a mom to many in the department
By Tawnya Panizzi
TARENTUM, Pa. — Members of Eureka Fire-Rescue in Tarentum are mourning the loss of a woman many referred to as the station “mom.”
Shannon McKruit, EMS manager at the Third Avenue department, died Monday at 52.
“I wonder if she ever realized the impact she had on thousands of people,” fire President David Webb said.
McKruit was a long-serving member at Eureka, having worked her way up the ranks over 33 years. Originally from New Castle, she graduated from Shenango High School and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
“When I first met her, she was (working) in East Deer,” Webb said. “She also spent some time with New Ken Ambulance and did some plant protection at Alcoa before becoming a very integral part of our daily operations.”
As a young lieutenant, McKruit was among a Eureka crew who trekked to New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, to help with rescue efforts in the collapse zone of the World Trade Center towers.
Eureka was the only out-of-state emergency squad working at the site.
“She was one of our Eureka 7,” Webb said. “They were there four days, and her helmet from those days is down at the Heinz History Center.”
He recalled his longtime friend as upbeat, caring and compassionate. She enjoyed raising the fire company’s dogs, Ramsey, Ashes and Dexter.
A social media post on Facebook was flooded with comments from the emergency services community, as well as from friends and family.
Many called McKruit a dedicated responder and said her loss would be felt by the community.
Jim Erb, EMS director at Citizens Hose in Harrison, said McKruit was a vital part of the Eureka family and the EMS community across the Alle-Kiski Valley.
“She was a caring professional and compassionate pre-hospital provider who cared for and loved her family, co-workers and community,” Erb said.
“She will be missed by everyone who knew her.”
Webb added, “She made a positive impact on a whole lot of people.”
Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Duster Funeral & Cremation Services, 347 E. 10th Ave, Tarentum. Burial will be private.