KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — The Kansas City Fire Department is mourning this weekend as two members died from coronavirus. Captain Robert “Bobby” Rocha died Saturday, and paramedic/communications specialist Scott Davidson died Sunday.
FOX4 was at City Hall for a news conference Sunday where we heard from leaders including Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and KCFD Chief Donna Lake. You can watch a replay of what they said in the video player.
Local fire and city officials spoke to FOX 4 this weekend to share their condolences.
Mayor Lucas said Saturday that he is proud of first responders for always answering the call, no matter the danger.
“So I am proud of captain for his service I am proud of all of our firefighters, who despite coronavirus and its challenges, are still going out there each and every day.” Lucas, said.
Chief Lake said Rocha, a 29-year veteran of the department, was more than just an employee.
“Bobby Rocha was somebody that I would consider a friend as well as, you know, one of our fire captains. Today has been a struggle. It was hard getting that news when the phone rang about 7 o’clock this morning.” Lake said.
The fire chief released a statement on Sunday commemorating the service of Davidson, who was 45 years old and served the department for 18 years.
“Scott was a calming voice that answered the call and ensured help was coming when our residents called the fire department for assistance. Unfortunately, he succumbed to this deadly virus. His passing, too, is a personal loss to all of us who knew him and called him friend. My heart goes out to his family,” she said.
“KCFD, like all other first response agencies, once again is on the frontlines of significant danger that is attacking our community and we will continue to step up and respond to the threat of this pandemic. My request today is the same as yesterday, follow the guidance to protect yourself and your family from this pandemic. By doing so, you help lessen our risk as first responders.”
J.J. Simma, president of the firefighters union in Kansas, says the department’s losses are tragedies that only time can heal.
“This is a tragic loss and on behalf of Kansas City Kansas Firefighters Local 64 we offer our condolences.“ Simma, said.
Emergency personnel grapple with the dangers of exposure to coronavirus while performing their jobs. Chief Lake says firefighters testing positive for coronavirus is a growing problem.
“We have had a lot of employees that have tested positive, you know, the second wave of coronavirus is tough on the department.“ Lake, said.
Captain Rocha is survived by his wife and son who is also a Kansas City fireman.