Willow firefighter dies while responding to fire

Published: Jan. 19, 2020 at 12:29 PM AKST
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A Willow Fire Department firefighter lost consciousness while preparing to depart for a call for service early Saturday morning and was pronounced deceased after fellow firefighters, EMS, Alaska State Troopers, and a LifeMed crew attempted life-saving measures.

Willow firefighter Roger Delongchamp, 66, was in a fire truck preparing to depart in response to a fire when he reportedly lost consciousness just before 2:15 a.m. Saturday.

Fellow Willow firefighters, EMS, Alaska State Troopers, and a LifeMed crew responded to the scene to assist. CPR was performed on Delongchamp for approximately one hour according to AST, after which time Delongchamp was declared deceased at 3:10 a.m. Saturday.

Delongchamp's family has been notified.

"It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our brother today," a statement from Mat-Su Director of Emergency Services Ken Barkley read. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and fellow responders. We ask to respect the privacy of the family during this most difficult time."

Gov. Mike Dunleavy released a statement Saturday evening mourning the loss of Delongchamp, and ordering state flags to be lowered to half-staff on the day of Delongchamp's memorial service.

“Rose and I were saddened to hear of the loss of Roger this morning and we hope all Alaskans will join us in praying for his family, friends, and fellow first responders during this difficult time,” Gov. Dunleavy's statement read. “It’s the brave work of firefighters, paramedics, and law enforcement like Roger Delongchamp that keep our state safe. On behalf of all Alaskans I want to thank Roger for his service to our great state.”

A date for Delongchamp's memorial service has not yet been released by his family.

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