Hillsborough lost a proud resident recently when Hillsborough Fire Company #2 (Station 37) Assistant Chief William "Bill" Shaffer succumbed to a medical emergency in the line of duty. Shaffer's death comes after Hillsborough Fire Companies 1 and 2 and career staff responded to Copart Salvage Auctions, on Camplain Road for a car fire. Upon arrival firefighters immediately worked to extinguish the fire. Shortly after it was extinguished Shaffer suffered a medical emergency.
From top officials to neighboring fire companies, many shared their condolences on Shaffer's death:
"Hillsborough experienced a great sadness today with the untimely passing of one of our dedicated volunteer fireman Bill Shaffer," said Hillsborough Mayor Shawn Lipani. "Whether you knew him from Station 37 or from seeing him at work at ShopRite, Billy always had a smile and a good word. Our deepest sympathies go out to his wife Marian, and his entire family. He will be sorely missed. Rest in peace Billy."
"Our deepest sympathies and warmest condolences. Rest Easy Brother. We will take it from here," said Hillsborough Fire Company #2.
A 35-year veteran of the department, Shaffer also worked full-time as a department manager at a local ShopRite, according to Chief Fire Marshal Christopher Weniger. “He just loved (being a firefighter),” Weniger said. “The fire department was his life. It was very important to him and he had a family that was very understanding.”
"Assistant Chief Shaffer was consistently one of Hillsborough's top responders. Chief Shaffer had dedicated 35 years of self-sacrificing and altruistic service to his community. Yesterday, Assistant Chief Schaffer answered his last call, passing away in the line of duty, while selflessly protecting his community. Thank you for everything, Chief and may you rest in peace," said North Branch Volunteer Fire Company.
"Hillsborough was a better place because of Billy. Rest easy Assistant Chief," said Hillsborough Committeeman Doug Tomson.
In addition to his many years serving Hillsborough with the Fire Company, which was his life, Assistant Chief Shaffer was also a proud and active supporter of Hillsborough Republicans throughout this time. The Hillsborough Republican Club made a donation, in Assistant Chief Shaffer’s name, to Hillsborough Fire Company #2.
Shaffer is survived by his wife Marian, and three children. Visitation was held on Thursday, July 22nd at Mary Mother of God, in Hillsborough, where hundreds of fire fighter colleagues, friends, neighbors, and Township officials came to pay their final salutes and respects. The funeral and prayer service were held Friday morning, July 23, followed by a private burial at Neshanic Reformed Cemetery.