Kansas City Missouri mayor Quinton Lucas observed the service of kcfd EMT Billy Birmingham who passed away yesterday due to complications of Coronavirus. Birmingham is the first Kansas City first responder to succumb to COVID-19.
Lucas noted that at the onset of the virus, “EMT Birmingham had the opportunity to choose another assignment. Instead like Heroes do, he stepped up and he continued to serve his community.” ” we are thankful for his service, we are thankful for his sacrifice and we are thankful for his family.”
Birmingham served the fire department and MAST for twenty two years. Kansas City Fire Chief Donna Maize paid tribute to Birmingham noting he wad “a kind and gentle medical provider who always had an encouraging word and good will for others.”
IAFF Local 42 president Tim Dupin also recognized Birmingham’s tenure of outstanding service with the fire department. ” Billy did not lose his life, rather he gave his life in service to his City. He is truly a hero.”
Dupin expressed regret that the department may not be able to honor Tradition at this time do to the stay-at-home orders due to the current restrictions. He did indicate that a proper recognition and traditional firefighter funeral service would come on another day after the present restrictions have been lifted.
Following the press conference, Mayor Lucas was asked if he saw the present stay at home order being extended past the original April 24th date. Lucas indicated that discussions were under way and eluded to a possible extension but stopped short of a firm date for lifting the current order.
Afterwards, Birmingham’s family gathered at the Firefighter Memorial fountain and memorialized him with a balloon release of blue balloons a tribute to the city’s First Responders.
Formal services for EMT Birmingham will be announced at a later date.