NJ fire captain dies due to COVID-19 complications

Edison Fire Capt. Richard P. Cambell, 55, came from a family of firefighters and served his department for 28 years


Katie Kausch
NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

EDISON, N.J. — Edison Fire Captain Richard P. Campbell died from complications of the coronavirus Thursday morning, the Edison Division of Fire announced.

Campbell, 55, died at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, the division said. He is survived by his wife, Kimberly, and four children, Kaitlin, Kevin, Kristopher, and Arianna.

Edison Fire Capt. Richard P. Campbell, 55, died Thursday morning due to COVID-19 complications after serving his department for 28 years.
Edison Fire Capt. Richard P. Campbell, 55, died Thursday morning due to COVID-19 complications after serving his department for 28 years. (Photo/Edison Township)

“Captain Campbell was a valued and respected member of our community and his dedication and commitment to serving the public was a guiding light for so many,” Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey said. “The losses incurred as a result of this horrific virus are indescribable but I do know that Captain Campbell’s passing leaves us short a hero.”

Campbell, who was known as “RP,” was a 28-year veteran of the fire department, and worked up until he became sick, the division said, including his last call at an apartment complex fire.

“He had two main passions in life: family and the fire department. If you were fortunate to know RP, you would know that he was always ‘on the go’ either helping family members or the fire department,” the fire division said in a statement.

Known as someone who “would never hesitate to rush towards danger to help those in need,” Lankey described Campbell as a family man who mentored others in the department.

“We are truly saddened that one of ours has passed from this virus. RP was a dedicated firefighter, a tremendous family man, and a great friend,” Edison Fire Chief Brian Latham and Deputy Chief Andrew Toth said in a statement. "Our hearts go out to his family and all his brother and sister firefighters. The loss of Captain Campbell will be felt by many and it will be felt for a very long time.”

Campbell came from a firefighting family. His father was a firefighter in Edison, and his brother was a firefighter in Elizabeth until he died last year. Another brother, Danny, is a deputy chief in Elizabeth, and a brother-in-law, Kenneth Schreck, is a captain in the Edison Police Department.

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©2020 NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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