Alaska firefighter dies after medical emergency in fire truck
Willow Fire Department Driver-Operator Roger DeLongchamp, 66, lost consciousness while preparing to respond to a fire
Duty Death: Roger D. DeLongchamp - [Willow, Alaska]
End of Service: 01/18/2020
By Laura French
WILLOW, Alaska — An Alaska firefighter and driver-operator died Saturday after a medical emergency.
Willow Fire Department Driver-Operator Roger DeLongchamp, 66, was in a fire truck preparing to respond to a fire when he lost consciousness, according to a statement by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Alaska State Troopers.
Firefighters, EMS, LifeMed and troopers responded and administered CPR for about an hour before DeLongchamp was pronounced dead from natural causes shortly after 3 a.m., officials said.
“It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our brother today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and fellow responders,” said Matanuska-Susitna Director of Emergency Services Ken Barkley. “We ask to respect the privacy of the family during this most difficult time.”
DeLongchamp had joined the Willow Fire Department about three-and-a-half years ago when the department created a driver-operator position to efficiently get apparatus to fires, according to a statement on Facebook. He had recently received a quarterly award from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough for his service and dedication.
“Roger was extremely dedicated and reliable. His dedication and commitment went beyond driving and running a pump on a fire truck. Roger was always willing to help with anything he could,” the department’s statement said.
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy also expressed condolences and ordered state flags to fly at half-staff on the day of DeLongchamp's memorial service, which has not yet been scheduled.
“It’s the brave work of firefighters, paramedics, and law enforcement like Roger Delongchamp that keep our state safe,” Dunleavy said. “On behalf of all Alaskans I want to thank Roger for his service to our great state.”