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Mo. communications specialist/paramedic dies from COVID-19

Scott Davidson, 45, is the second Kansas City Fire Department member to die from the virus over the weekend


Photo/KCFD Local 42 Facebook

Anna Spoerre
The Kansas City Star

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A third member of the Kansas City Fire Department has died from the coronavirus. It is the second death from the virus within the department this weekend.

Scott Davidson, a communications specialist and paramedic, died Sunday morning from COVID-19, the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 42 posted on Facebook Sunday morning.

“Scott was a dedicated member of the Communications Division of the Kansas City Fire Department,” the post read. “Scott also served as a paramedic and that service to the City of Kansas City included service with MAST Ambulance.”

A day earlier, Captain Robert “Bobby” Rocha also died after contracting the virus while on the job.

In March, Kansas City Fire Department EMT Billy Birmingham was the first person in the city to die in what Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas called the “line of duty” in the coronavirus outbreak.

Since the pandemic began, 176 members of the Kansas City Fire Department have tested positive for COVID-19, said Jason Spreitzer, a spokesman with the fire department. As of Saturday, 73 were still infected.

”... The now three deaths of KCFD members from this virus reminds us that this virus has reached all divisions of the Fire Service,” the firefighters union posted. “We must continue to be vigilant in our protections of all our members and recognize the sacrifice and service they have provided to the community of Kansas City Missouri.”

Spreitzer said that since the beginning of the pandemic, any members of the department who test positive for COVID-19 are considered to have contracted it on the job. The city pays for their treatment and the employees don’t have to use personal time to take off work, he added.

Kansas City Fire Chief Donna Lake announced a mask mandate for all members of the department on Oct. 16 after noticing another spike in cases, Spreitzer said. Firefighters and EMTs had already been required to wear masks when coming in contact with patients.

On Monday, Lucas announced that all Kansas City police officers, first responders and other essential workers will be required to wear face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as part of new public health guidance.

The new order went into place Friday. Previous emergency orders exempted first responders from having to wear masks.

Acting City Manager Earnest Rouse in a tweet Saturday urged the Kansas City community to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

As of Saturday, more than 73,900 people in the Kansas City metro have contracted the coronavirus as the area continues to see record-breaking numbers of new cases. So far, 949 people have died of the illness.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Read more: A plea for renewed commitment to COVID-19 prevention


(c)2020 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)