KANSAS CITY (AP) — Two members of the Kansas City Fire Department died this weekend after battling the coronavirus.
A communications specialist and paramedic who worked for the department, Scott Davidson, died Sunday, according to the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 42. A day earlier, city officials said fire Captain Robert “Bobby” Rocha died after battling COVID-19 for several weeks.
Rocha, 60, began at the fire department in 1991, fire department spokesman Jason Spreitzer said.
“His passing represents a personal loss to all of us who knew him. I cherish both his friendship and professionalism,” Fire Chief Donna Lake said.
The firefighters union said three members of the Kansas City Fire Department have now died with the coronavirus. The union said the deaths show that the virus has affected all divisions of the fire department. In March, Kansas City Fire Department EMT Billy Birmingham was the first fire department employee to die from the virus.
Since the pandemic began, 176 members of the Kansas City Fire Department have tested positive for COVID-19, Spreitzer said. As of Saturday, 73 were still infected.
The city considers any fire department employee who contracts COVID-19 as having contracted it on the job, Spreitzer said.