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Tacoma firefighter dies on duty while providing medical aid

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on May 14, 2013 at 4:19 pm with No Comments »
May 14, 2013 5:19 pm

UPDATE 2: This from IAFF Local 31:

Co-workers describe Al as the most interesting man in the world. He was a friend to all, never said a bad word about anyone, and would give the shirt off his back to anyone – literally.

UPDATE: Here’s the official news release from the City of Tacoma:

On-duty Firefighter Albert A. Nejmeh, a 12-year veteran of the Tacoma Fire Department, died shortly before noon today at St. Joseph Medical Center after suffering an apparent heart attack this morning while working at the scene of an emergency medical incident. After Firefighter Nejmeh collapsed, he received immediate basic and advanced life support from his fellow firefighters, who then transported him to the hospital.

“Al was a well-loved and well-regarded Tacoma Firefighter,” said Fire Chief Jim Duggan. “As a member of our technical rescue team, he continued to hone his craft and teach it to others. He lived a genuine and deliberate life. We will miss him.”

The Fire Department would like to thank the physicians, nurses and staff at the St. Joseph Medical Center’s emergency department and catheter lab who worked valiantly to save Nejmeh’s life.

Details regarding the memorial service will be announced at a later date.

PREVIOUS POST: A 59-year-old Tacoma firefighter died of an apparent heart attack Tuesday after being dispatched to a medical aid call, the department reported.

Al Nejmeh  Credit: City of Tacoma
Al Nejmeh
Credit: City of Tacoma

Al Nejmeh collapsed before noon while helping a sick person and was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Nejmeh, 59, was a 12-year veteran of the department, Tacoma Fire spokesman Joe Meinecke said.

Nejmeh was assigned to Ladder 2, which worked out of Station 8 at 4911 S. Alaska St.

Nejmeh was quoted in The News Tribune last year in a story about the retirement of long-time firefighter Tom Haneline. You can read that story here.

Here’s a list of Tacoma firefighters who died on duty, according to department records:

W.O. Phillips, 1892

Jess Hill, 1911

Albert Schwarzer, 10-6-1912

G.F. McClure, 12-16-1912

George Crane, 05-03-1924

Conrad Hymel, 05-08-1934

Clarence J. Johnson, 11-18-1940

John D. Jansen, 1951

Oscar F. Knierim, 09-12-1953

Arthur Strong, 07-14-1963

Carroll Wagaman, 12-4-1972

Dale F. Jones, 02-25-1974

Irving D. Day, 02-01-1988


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