KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department confirmed Monday that a member of its department has died from COVID-19 complications.
The International Association of Firefighters Local 42 identified the deceased EMT as Billy Birmingham in a tweet Monday afternoon.
Rest in peace brother Billy Birmingham, who gave his life in the line of duty to the citizens of Kansas City, Missouri on this day, Monday, April 13, 2020. #LODD— KC Firefighters (@IAFFLocal42) April 13, 2020
"Rest in peace brother Billy Birmingham, who gave his life in the line of duty to the citizens of Kansas City, Missouri on this day, Monday, April 13, 2020," the union's tweet said.
KCFD Chief Donna Maize also offered her condolences.
"I am sad to report that KCFD EMT Billy Birmingham lost his battle with COVID-19 this afternoon," she said in a statement. "He was part of the KCFD family for the past 10 years, but part of the MAST family for many years prior. His passing represents a personal loss to all of us who knew him and cherished both his friendship and professionalism.
Birmingham was a 69-year-old EMT, who had been with the department since 2010, according to KCFD. He worked for Mast Ambulance Service from 1998 to 2010, when KCFD took over the city's ambulance service.
“I am heartbroken by the death of a longtime Kansas City Fire Department EMT, who tragically passed away this afternoon due to COVID-related complications," KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas said in a statement. "We will share further details about his life and service at a later time, but for now my heart goes out to his family, his friends, and all in KCFD who remember his selfless service to Kansas City."
Birmingham is the first KCMO employee to die from COVID-19 and the 65th known death in the KC area.
Lucas also announced that the city will turn on the Firefighter's Fountain and Memorial on Tuesday in Birmingham's honor. The memorial is located at West 31st Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.
“We all must continue to remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent any further spread of this terrible disease and to best support our first responders and health workers who give it all for us," Lucas said.