Calif. assistant chief dies after collapsing at department building
Sean Laffan, 42, an Oakland FD interim assistant chief, was immediately treated by fire command staff but died after prolonged cardiac arrest
Duty Death: Sean D. Laffan - [Oakland, California]
End of Service: 11/16/2020
OAKLAND, Calif. — Sean Laffan, an interim assistant chief of the Oakland Fire Department, died Monday night after collapsing inside the department's building at Frank Ogawa Plaza, officials said.
He was 42 years old.
"We are shaken by this immense loss and focused on restoring the emotional health of this department and the Laffan family who are devastated by this tragedy," Interim Fire Chief Melinda Drayton said in a statement Tuesday morning.
It is with great sadness that we share news about the loss of our brother, Interim Assistant Chief Sean Laffan. We're shaken by this tragedy, and focused on restoring the emotional health of our department and caring for the needs of the Laffan family #OFD https://t.co/fKPdZpPyfq pic.twitter.com/qG1g6eKBRq— Oakland Fire Department (CA) (@OaklandFireCA) November 17, 2020
According to Oakland Fire spokesman Michael Hunt, Laffan collapsed around 5 p.m. Fire command staff immediately began efforts to save him, and an ambulance rushed him to Summit Medical Center in Oakland.
He died in the hospital around 10:15 p.m. after going into a prolonged cardiac arrest.
"Please keep the Laffan family, and all the members of the OFD in your thoughts," Hunt said in a statement, adding the department and its members will "do everything necessary to ensure that his life and service are honored and his memory celebrated."
Laffan joined the Oakland Fire Department in 2000 and became the interim Assistant Fire Chief this past June.
He was one of three assistant chiefs in the department.
Laffan "represented our department and the city of Oakland with distinction and enthusiasm for the fire service and our community throughout," Drayton said. "Right now, we are working across all ranks to ensure that his service to all residents of Oakland is honored and celebrated, and we'll continue to take cues from the Laffan family to ensure we are responsive to their needs and wishes during this extremely challenging moment."
He is survived by his wife, Sabrina, and sons Caeden, Connor and Cooper. Caeden Laffan is a probationary firefighter within the department.
"Our hearts go out to the entire Laffan family, and all who know him, worked alongside him and loved him," Hunt said.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
(c) 2020 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)