According to the NFFF, as of today, there are 131 total reported deaths in Fire-EMS due to COVID-19 complications: 79 fire personnel; 51 EMS only personnel. Each day we are seeing the numbers increase — and my sincere condolences to those who have suffered the loss of loved ones, and those who are fighting the battle.
Everyday we get notifications of Firefighters and EMTs who died from COVID.
Are they Line of Duty?
My opinion is that they are until someone officially says they are not. I believe that’s the least we can do to honor our Brothers and Sisters who have died, along with their surviving family members.
Today we are stunned by the death of a long-time friend who has died from COVID. Chief Nick Finamore of Prince George’s County, MD died today. While a retired career Deputy Fire Chief (Lt Colonel), he was the current PGFD Volunteer Operations Commander and Chief of the Allentown Road VFD, PGFD Stations 32 and 47.
To help you understand the “stunning” part, Nick was speaking with family and fire friends a day ago, in good spirits, planning on getting out … and in the past 24 hours it all changed, and he passed away.
I was at my desk this morning when my son Brian called from work, and quickly said the words “Nick Finamore died. I’ll call you right back,” as he turned out on a run. But you could hear it in his voice, he was shook. There are almost two generations between him and Nick — so how would that impact him?
That is exactly who Nick was — he impacted everyone, at every level in any aspect of his life. Ten years ago, as a young firefighter, my kid was initially assigned to Nick’s firehouse. He immediately saw that Nick was a chief who was always out there, always engaged and always giving a sh!t. He never got involved in any firehouse B.S. that wraps up so many; he took care of everyone, while never hesitating to very clearly tell anyone “how it is.” My son is just one of thousands of Firefighters who have been impacted, very positively, by Chief Nick Finamore.
Yesterday, I was in a discussion with some IAFC fire folks and the question came up “What do you want in a 2021 Firefighter?” My answer was immediate as I responded passionately, that I simply want Firefighters who GIVE A SH!T. Give me Firefighters who are that, and there is little we can’t accomplish.
Chief Nick Finamore gave a sh!t. He defined it. It was who he was, it was how he worked and it was how he led, while spreading that infectious attitude to everyone around him. He was “THAT” Chief who fired everyone up to be motivated, take care of each other, love the job, love those we serve and to give a sh!t. According to my son and anyone who works there, Nick was “THAT” voice on the radio that when you heard him on a run, whatever the situation, it was about to get better — without question.
Nick was that Chief, as we say, a “Firefighters’ Fire Chief” — the kind that everyone respected and loved, and Nick loved every one of us — of every generation — right back.
Rest In Peace Chief Nick Finamore. Words can’t express the thanks we owe you and the admiration we will always have for you.
Take Care. Be Careful. Pass it On.
The Secret List 1/5/2020-2000 Hours