Assistant Hopkins fire chief, Bloomington dispatch supervisor dies

Dispatchers and first responders in both Hopkins and Bloomington are mourning the loss of a colleague on Friday.

The cities announced that 38-year-old James Scanlon, the assistant fire chief for Hopkins and a dispatch supervisor in Bloomington, died Friday after going into cardiac arrest a day earlier.

He’d responded to a fire call in Hopkins earlier Thursday before going into cardiac arrest, and his death is being considered in the line of duty.

Scanlon previously spent 16 years as a reserve officer, dispatcher, and public safety officer for the Hopkins Police Department then started as a dispatch supervisor and communications technician with Bloomington Police, which called him “an integral part” of the department. That’s in addition to spending the past 14 years as a firefighter for Hopkins, including as assistant chief since 2019.

The city of Hopkins noted that Scanlon’s father, Bob, worked for the city’s IT department, and Scanlon started working as a seasonal employee for the city to help his dad when he was just 16.

“Jimmy was known for his superior knowledge of IT, commitment to the City and willingness to help out however he could. He will be deeply missed,” Hopkins Fire Chief Dale Specken said. “Our condolences go out to Chief Scanlon’s family.”

Scanlon leaves behind his partner and four children.

A visitation has been planned from 10-11 a.m. on Nov. 9 at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, which will be immediately followed by Scanlon’s funeral service.

The city says its flags will remain at half-staff through Nov. 9.

A GoFundMe has been started to help support Scanlon’s family.