Leadership

AFTER A LINE-OF-DUTY DEATH

Issue 6 and Volume 157.

BY MAURO V. “BUZZ” BALDANZA “Man down! We have a man down.” On January 16, 2002, and again on December 6, 2003, the Long Branch (NJ) Fire Department heard those words blaring from the radio. The results were the line-of-duty deaths of Lieutenant Robert Feeney and Captain Ronald Fitzpatrick. Both, members of the Phil Daly Hose Company, were stricken with fatal heart attacks on the fireground. Feeney, 41, had served in various capacities with the department and headed the Explorer program. Fitzpatrick, 68, had retired from the Newark (NJ) Fire Department after a 30-year career. He had served with our volunteer department since 1973 and was the training and safety officer. He also had served as the lead instructor at the Monmouth County Fire Academy and trained thousands of rookie and veteran firefighters, career and volunteer. The deaths of Feeney and Fitzpatrick were sudden, unexpected, and an emotional shock to…

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