NJ fire recruit dies after collapsing during training exercise
Irvington Fire Department Recruit Victor Melillo, 21, was in a critical care unit for five days after the incident
Duty Death: Victor Melillo - [Irvington, New Jersey]
End of Service: 03/09/2021
By Laura French
MORRIS COUNTY, N.J. — A New Jersey fire recruit died Tuesday, five days after he collapsed during a training exercise.
Irvington Fire Department/FMBA Local 14 Recruit Victor Melillo, 21, was training in the parking lot of the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy when he collapsed on Thursday morning, according to a statement by county officials. First responders at the academy immediately rendered aid and Melillo was transported to the hospital where he remained in the critical care unit until his death Thursday morning.
NJ FMBA President Eddie Donnelly said Melillo's organs were donated through the NJ Sharing Network.
"Myself and [Irvington Fire Chief Antonio Gary] were honored to attend the beautiful and emotional Donation Ceremony held outside Morristown Medical Center," Donnelly wrote. "The Melillo Family, along with FMBA Local 14, has agreed to a LODD Funeral with Full Honors."
Firefighters from across the state shared their condolences over social media.
"All the members of Millburn Professional Firefighters FMBA Local 32 are saddened to hear of the passing of Irvington Fire Department Recruit Victor Mellillo," Millburn firefighters wrote. "Local 32 sends our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Victor, and the members of the Irvington Fire Department FMBA Local 14. Losing any member is very difficult, but losing such a young brother is unimaginable."
"The loss of a retired fireman is upsetting. The loss of an active duty firemen is heartbreaking. The loss of a recruit is inarticulate," wrote Westfield FMBA Local 30. "Although we may not have known him, we mourn the loss of Victor Melillo of the Irvington Fire Department/Irvington NJ Fire OFficers - IAFF Local 2004. May he Rest in Peace and his dedication to the fire service carry on forever."