Two KCFD employees die of Covid
By John SharK
The COVID-19 pandemic took a heavy toll on the Kansas City Fire Department the weekend of November 21 and 22 with the deaths of two longtime employees – Captain Robert “Bobby” Rocha who died November 21 and Communication Specialist/Paramedic Scott Davidson who died November 22.
Rocha, 60, was a 29-year veteran of KCFD.
“He was a vibrant and beloved part of the KCFD Family for 29 years. His passing represents a personal loss to all of us who knew him. I cherish both his friendship and professionalism,” said Fire Chief Donna Lake.
“Captain Rocha honorably served Kansas City for years, touching an immeasurable number of lives with his heroism along the way,” said Mayor Quinton Lucas.
Davidson, 45, was a 18-year veteran of KCFD and MAST (Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust), first serving as a paramedic and then as a communication specialist.
“It is heartbreaking to lose yet another member of our Fire Department family,” said Acting City Manager Earnest Rouse.
“We must all work harder to stop the spread of this deadly virus,” Rouse added.
Billy Birmingham, 69, was another KCFD employee and former MAST employee killed by the virus in April. An emergency medical technician in Kansas City for 22 years, first with MAST and then with KCFD, Birmingham died of the virus after responding to several calls involving infected patients.
His death was the first known line-of-duty death of a first responder in Missouri from the virus.
Jason Spreitzer, a Fire Department spokesman, said 201 KCFD employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic spread to the Kansas City region.
While the Kansas City Police Department has suffered no deaths due to the pandemic, Police Chief Rick Smith told me that 163 of its employees have tested positive. He reported that 34 of these employees are currently quarantined along with 44 other employees quarantined due to their exposure to the virus.