Over the weekend, the City of Kansas City, Mo. Fire Department (KCFD) announced the deaths of two employees from COVID-19.
Communication Specialist Scott Davidson, 45, was an 18-year veteran of KCFD who began his career as a MAST paramedic. He is remembered by the department as a calming voice that answered the call and ensured help was coming when residents called the fire department for assistance.
“Scott Davidson was a wonderful man who served the Kansas City Fire Department so well and the community he loved. My heart goes out to his family, friends, KCFD, and all who knew him,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said. “I hope all will do everything they can to keep others from having to deal with this terrible disease.”
On Saturday, Fire Captain Bobby Rocha, a 29-year veteran of the department, died at age 60 after fighting COVID-19 for weeks. Rocha’s son is a KCFD EMT.
“He was a vibrant and beloved part of the KCFD Family for 29 years,” KCFD Fire Chief Donna Lake said. “His passing represents a personal loss to all of us who knew him. I cherish both his friendship and professionalism. KCFD first responders continue to put their lives on the line daily in service to our City as this pandemic rages on. My request to all is to follow the guidance to protect yourself and your family from this virus.”
Davidson’s death marks the third line of duty death of a KCFD first responder, and the fourth city employee, from COVID-19. EMT Billy Birmingham, 69, who dedicated his life to Kansas Citians through his career, which started at MAST in 1998, died in April. T-Jay Morales, 41, a Water Department employee of nine years, died in September.
“COVID has taken the lives of four city employees, all of whom were loved by their families and valued by our community,” Acting City Manager Earnest Rouse said. “We must all work harder to stop the spread of this deadly virus.”
Kansas City, Mo. has had 20,112 lab-confirmed cases since the city started tracking in March, with 1,430 new cases in the past week. As of Nov. 20, 255 Kansas Citians have died.
The department encourages employees seeking support in dealing with these tragic losses to contact 42 Cares, a behavioral health service for employees through IAFF Local 42, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the 24/7 hotline at 1-877-281-3804.
A drive through visitation will be held from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday Nov. 29 for Rocha. People may sign the register book and pay their respects to the family at the McGilley Funeral Home, 3325 N.E. Vivion Rd., Kansas City, Mo. 64119.
A visitation will be held for Davidson on Friday, Nov. 27 from 4 -7 p.m. at Lakeview Funeral Home, 12004 E. 13th St. N, Wichita, Kan. 67206.
The service will be on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 10:30 a.m. at Crossroads Baptist Church, 11441 E. Central Ave., Wichita, Kan. 67206. Wichita does not have a limit on how many people can be in attendance. They do require masks to be worn.