Tacoma firefighter collapses, dies during aid call

Updated:

Al Nejmeh (Photo credit: East Pierce Firefighters IAFF Local 3520)
TACOMA, Wash. —

Tacoma firefighter Al Nejmeh died Tuesday while on the job.

A Tacoma Fire Department spokesperson said Nejmeh, 59, collapsed while assisting a Tacoma resident on an aid call. He was taken to St. Joseph Hospital but could not be saved. He died of an apparent heart attack.

“Al was a well-loved and well-regarded Tacoma firefighter,” said Fire Chief Jim Duggan. “As a member of our technical rescue team, he continued to hone his craft and teach it to others. He lived a genuine and deliberate life. We will miss him.”  

Nejmeh was assigned to Ladder 2, Station 8.

In June 2012, Nejmeh wrote the lyrics of a retirement song for battalion chief Tom Haneline called "Forty Years." Nejmeh "looked up to Haneline since the battalion chief threw his support behind Nejmeh when he joined the force at age 49," the News Tribune reported at the time.