Mr. Donald Gregory Hirsch “Don”, of Spring, Texas, passed away on Thursday, May 10, 2018 at the age of 57.
Don was born to parents Herbert and Elaine on June 8, 1960 in New York, New York. He moved to Texas in the early 1980’s at which time he became a member of the Northwest VFD. He later married his wife Ramona “Mona” and they started their family having three children, Marissa, Austin and Jacob.
Don went on to complete his degree in fire service operations and became a dispatcher for Harris County Emergency Corp and then moved to Cypress Creek Communications Center. He was instrumental in helping to set up and navigate through new communications systems when Houston was converting to the 911 emergency dispatch system. He was an unsuspecting recipient of a call that was recorded and went viral “The Dog and the Deer” (graphic language if you desire to listen to it on YouTube, but you must admit, it was hilarious (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty6JPyr2XZ0) ) He handled the call like a pro and had no clue at the time he was being pranked. They were testing the new communications system.
Don went on to enhance his career and his love for the community by becoming a videographer. He became a stringer and started doing videos for local news stations such as KTRK, KHOU, KRIV, KIAH and KPRC, etc. He did this just as he did everything else, he took it to the next level and worked at the National and International level. He developed a relationship with The Weather Channel and covered many years of tropical storms and hurricanes. He then branched out and began doing investigational video for agencies such as the US Coast Guard, FBI, MMS and several others. He spent endless hours on the BP Blowout and recovery efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. He was one of the first videographers to bring shooting video by air and flew drones to capture footage.
He was extremely regarded in the news media industry, as well as the First Responder Communities.
Don is survived by his Wife, his children, many Aunts, Uncles, Nieces and Nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents.
Travis Satterwhite who was with KIAH in Houston and later moved on to CNN said he remembered Don from when all the stations had a breaking news story that Travis missed. Don Hirsch gave him the video which enabled them to also have coverage of the breaking story.
Frank Marshall worked with Don at Cypress Creek Ems, “There’s probably a lot that I could say, about Don. So many funny, sad, and personal memories come to mind, but what is constant and stands out the most is that Don was dedicated and loyal father, husband, employee, and friend. The story that everyone will remember is “The Deer and The Dog”, but that doesn’t scratch the surface of who Don was. I worked with Don for well over a decade and have been friends for over three decades. I’ll miss our conversations and the unwavering respect that we had for each other.”
Chris McDonald who was with Fox 26 in Houston remembered Don for taking care of his friends. McDonald said many times they were on a major story and locked down, unable to leave. Don Hirsch would show up with dinner for them.
A Celebration of Life will be held to Honor Don on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at the Spring Fire Department, Station 70 located at 22306 Springwoods Village Parkway, Spring, Texas 77389 from 11-12. A short informal gathering will be held afterword from 12-1.