Cris Hansen, 47, paramedic and fire chief

Posted: June 12, 2008

Cris Hartley Hansen, 47, of Woodlyn, a paramedic supervisor and Swarthmore fire company chief, died June 5 of cancer at the home of his companion, Dawn Patterson, in Springfield, Delaware County.

At Swarthmore High School, Mr. Hansen lettered in football, basketball, track and baseball. He competed in the Penn Relays and was most valuable player on the football team during his junior and senior years. His athletic talents earned him a number of college scholarship offers, but he rejected them, his brother Kurt said. He wanted to be a paramedic and firefighter.

After high school, Mr. Hansen worked in the nuclear medicine department at Lankenau Hospital and worked weekends and evenings for a private ambulance company. He completed paramedic training at Delaware County Community College and was certified with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. In 1985, he joined the staff of Taylor Hospital in Ridley Park as a paramedic. He became chief of paramedics at Taylor in 1991.

Since 2002, Mr. Hansen had been community liaison for emergency medical technician services for the Crozer-Keystone Health System and supervised paramedics who responded to major incidents in lower Delaware County.

When Mr. Hansen was 15, he joined his two brothers and father as a volunteer with the Swarthmore Fire and Protective Association. He held various offices with the company and was chief for more than 20 years. He earned the company's James J. Dunn Award for service three times, most recently in 2007. For 22 of his more than 30 years in service, he was one of the company's top 10 responders. In 1992, he won the Best Chief title at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Firefighters Competition.

Mr. Hansen was emergency management coordinator for the Borough of Swarthmore and was chosen as Swarthmore's Citizen of the Year in 2000.

He enjoyed motorcycling, golfing, deep-sea fishing, hunting, vacations at his family's home in Assateague Pointe, Md., and attending his daughters' sports events.

In addition to his brother and companion, Mr. Hansen is survived by daughters Kelsey and Kristen; his parents, Robert and Carol Hansen; a sister; another brother; and his former wife, Rebecca Hansen.

Friends may call from 2 to 8 p.m. tomorrow and from 8 to 9 a.m. Saturday at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church, 727 Harvard Ave., Swarthmore. The funeral follows visitation Saturday at the church. Burial will be in SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Marple Township. Mr. Hansen's casket will be carried to the cemetery in an antique American La-France pumper owned by his fire company.

Memorial donations may be made to Friends of Cris Hansen Firefighter Scholarship Fund, Box 403, Swarthmore, Pa. 19081.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.

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