Video: Ill. firefighter given special escort for final ambulance ride home

Itasca first responders have been accompanying Firefighter-Paramedic Frank Nunez through his cancer battle


By Leila Merrill

CHICAGO — Fellow firefighters gave Itasca Firefighter-Paramedic Frank Nunez a special escort home from the hospital Tuesday night.

Nunez has been battling cancer for weeks at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and his fellow firefighters have been by his side, CBS reported.  

"We have volunteers that are coming in off duty to make sure that Frank is comfortable and has the honor of being in the back of the ambulance for the last time," said Itasca Fire Chief Jack Schneidwind.

Nunez joined the department in 2018.

A year later, he noticed a sharp pain in his left leg. Doctors diagnosed him with a form of soft tissue cancer, which went into remission.

But it returned in 2021.

Before leaving the hospital for hospice care, he and his then-girlfriend were married.

Nunez can no longer speak but has been using a dry-erase board to express himself, the news outlet reported.

His mother has also used it to communicate with him. She lost the ability to speak, too, and received a stem cell transplant for leukemia on her son's birthday.

"There's nothing sadder than obviously losing somebody – especially somebody young, so vibrant as Frank," Schneidwind said.

As Nunez boarded the ambulance one more time Tuesday night, his now-wife, Christina, and their dog, Max, went home with him.

 

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