East Pierce Fire and Rescue raced to save one of their own after a call came in about a dirt bike crash Saturday, Oct. 22.
First responders were unaware that their patient was longtime firefighter Capt. Tim McCoy until they reached his home, where the crash occurred.
McCoy was transported to a local trauma center with life-threatening injuries. He died later Saturday evening.
“Captain McCoy had been an integral member of this department for many years,” said East Pierce Fire Chief Bud Backer in a press release. “His loss touches each and every one of us. He will be sorely missed.”
McCoy, 59, joined the Bonney Lake Fire Department nearly 30 years ago, before Bonney Lake Fire became a part of East Pierce Fire and Rescue in 2000.
During those years, he rose through the ranks from firefighter to lieutenant to captain, often serving as acting battalion chief.
He was planning to retire in June.
“I think he was cut out to be a firefighter because he was so calm and caring,” said Anna McCoy, his wife. “Tim was definitely passionate in everything he did. He didn’t just want to be a firefighter – he wanted to be a great firefighter. He felt that it was such a privilege.”
His family said that McCoy had been riding dirt bikes since he was a child.
As an adult, he earned his professional motocross license and competed in a number of races. Most recently, he won the Desert 100 for the 50-plus class, one of the biggest desert races in the Northwest.
His love of competition wasn’t about winning or losing, his family said. Instead, he wanted to spur himself and others on to be better. “I think he tried to do that with his crew at the fire station,” said his daughter Emily McCoy. Her brother Joshua agreed. “There was something in him that made him want to excel at everything,” he said.
McCoy served as an elder at Bonney Lake Community Church for more than 10 years. “His ultimate goal in life was to bring honor to God in everything he did. It was the source of his passion,” said Joshua. After he retired, McCoy had planned to become a chaplain for the fire department.
McCoy is survived by his wife Anna (Koehler), their son Joshua (Charis), daughters Emily and Alise; his mother Frances Pickering; brothers Steve and Kevin McCoy and sister Diane Stracener.
A service is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at Lighthouse Christian Center in Puyallup, lighthousehome.org. A reception is to follow.