To comply with state and county COVID-19 restrictions, the Longview and Kalama fire departments will hold a memorial procession on Friday, December 11 and a family service with full fire honors in February, 2021.
IAFF Member Deaths
The IAFF maintains an online searchable database of Line of Duty Deaths. You can search by name, date, district, local or cause to find someone.
2019-2020 Line of Duty Deaths
With great sadness, IAFF Local 2409 Tumwater Fire Fighters and the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters report the Line-of-Duty Death of retired member Lieutenant Darlene Gail Raffelson on December 17, 2020, after a courageous battle with duty-related cancer.
Darlene began her fire service career in 1978 as a volunteer for the Ocosta Fire Department. She then joined South Beach Ambulance in Westport as a volunteer EMT. In 1990, Darlene was sponsored by the ambulance company to attend the Tacoma Community College paramedic program, where she graduated at the top of her class. Upon graduation she was hired as the first and only paramedic in Westport and surrounding South Beach area. Darlene was instrumental in creating a program that helped fully staff the South Beach Ambulance Service.
In 1999, Darlene joined Local 2409 Tumwater Fire Fighters as a medic, later promoting to Paramedic Lieutenant, and finished her career as the department’s Training Lieutenant. She worked for 16 years before her medical retirement in 2015.
Memorial information will be provided as it becomes available. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and our brothers and sisters in Local 2409.
With deep regret, IAFF Local I-24 Hanford and the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters report the Line-of-Duty Death of retired member Darrell Dabling. Darrell passed away on August 13, 2020, after a courageous and lengthy battle with cancer.
Darrell began his career for the Hanford Fire Department in 1973, starting at Hanford Patrol two years before finishing out his remaining 40 years with the Hanford Fire Department. Darrell made many life-long friends while serving as a Firefighter/EMT and was grateful for the unity and camaraderie that he felt amongst his brothers on the Hanford Fire Department. Darrell loved to cook for his fire fighter family and will always be known as a legend not only for his excellent cooking but also for the laughter he brought to the table. Darrell had a natural ability to tell stories and freely shared his many life experiences during his years of service until his retirement in 2015.
Rest easy, Darrell, and know that our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.
With deep regret, IAFF Local 1296 Kennewick and the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters report the Line-of-Duty Death of retired member Steve Bailie. Steve passed away on July 17, 2020, after a courageous and lengthy battle with cancer. Steve’s illness was directly linked to his long fire career and the time he spent at Ground Zero to help with recovery in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Steve started his career with the Kennewick Fire Department in 1978. After retiring in 2011 and serving his community for 33 years, Steve continued to dedicate his life to the fire service by volunteering at local agencies and staying active as an Incident Management Team member.
Local 1296 said, “Without a doubt, Steve was one of the hardest working and most committed firefighters our city has ever seen.” The family invites you to sign their online guest book at www.muellersfuneralhomes.com and to view his obitutuary.
With deep regret the WSCFF, Local 3828, and Cowlitz 2 County Fire & Rescue report the Line-of-Duty-Death of Battalion Chief Mike Zainfeld, a 20-year veteran firefighter. Mike died on Thursday, September 19, 2019. He leaves behind his wife Kelly, sons Braden and Evan and many colleagues and friends.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at New Life Church, 2441 42nd Ave., Longview, WA 98632. Procession arrival at the church will be at noon. Please arrive by 11:30 a.m. if you would like to be a part of the arrival formation.
Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue Fire Chief Dave LaFave said, “This hurts. We will remember Mike, his family, and what they contributed to our organization. They’re a big part of where we are today. I believe Mike would want us to move forward together. We will support each other and his family as we all get through this loss.”
Zainfeld began his career with Cowlitz 2 as a fire cadet in 1994, the first year of the program. He was hired full time in 2000 after completing paramedic training in Tacoma. After several years on the job, he was promoted to lieutenant, captain, and battalion chief. He was active in all hazard deployments, qualified as a division supervisor, and served on assignments in several states.
Mike enjoyed spending time with his family and vacationing with his immediate and extended fire families. He also appreciated the outdoors, fishing, flying his drone, reading history books, and being with his German Shepherd, Max.
A fund has been established to provide support for the Zainfeld family. To make a donation, visit the site or make a text donation by calling 360-207-2170 and text “donation”.
With heavy hearts, the WSCFF reports the line-of-duty-death of Lieutenant Philip Oldham, IAFF Local 4258 Grays Harbor #2 on Friday, November 15, 2019 from Leukemia. He leaves behind his wife Jennifer, son Andrew and daughter Nichole, his Grays Harbor colleagues, and many IAFF brothers and sisters across the state. A memorial service was held for Brother Oldham on Wednesday, November 26, 2019 in Olympia.
In lieu of flowers, the family, IAFF Local 4258, the Central Park Volunteer Firefighters Association and Brady Volunteer Firefighters Association request donations to a memorial fund in Phil’s honor. Donations will be used to create an annual scholarship for students pursuing a career in the fire service or paramedicine and to fund research for leukemia an cancers affecting firefighters. Donations can be made on-line or mailed to the LT Phil Oldham Memorial Fund, 6317 Olympia Highway, Aberdeen, WA 98520.
On December 22, 2019, the Valley Regional Fire Authority said goodbye to Firefighter 1st Class Dave Lewis after a long battle with occupational cancer. Dave started his firefighting career with the City of Auburn Fire Department in 1982, retiring from the Valley Regional Fire Authority in 2010. Dave served our communities for nearly 28 years in many different capacities. Shortly after retiring, Dave was diagnosed with cancer in 2011. He fought valiantly while living life to the fullest enjoying his family and the outdoors. Dave’s strength, work ethic, and compassion will be missed by all.
Celebration of Life
Saturday, February 29, 2020 12:00 p.m.
Enumclaw Expo and Event Center
Enumclaw, WA 98022
With great sadness, the WSCFF reports the Line-of-Duty Death of Local 2099, Bothell Professional Fire Fighters Lieutenant Kirk Robinson on October 4, 2019 after a heroic 2-year battle with cancer. At this time, we ask that the Robinson family’s request for privacy be respected. If you would like to support Kirk’s family, Local 2099 is collecting contributions through the 501c3 Lionhardt Organization, please specify in the special instructions field that your donation is “on behalf of Kirk Robinson.”
2019-2020 Member Deaths
With deep regret, IAFF Local 828 Longview, Local 4447 Cowlitz #5 and the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters report the death of member Alan “Al” Basso. Al died Friday, November 27, 2020, in the morning hours after he responded to two emergency medical calls and was later in a crash, having suffered a heart attack.
After 21 years with IAFF Local 828 Longview Fire Fighters, Al retired from his lieutenant’s position in January 2020 to become the volunteer captain of the Kalama Fire Department as well as an EMT and was a 36-year fire service veteran. Al also served for more than two years as a career firefighter with Kalama Fire before serving as a volunteer there for 21 years. Al spent five years with the Washington Department of Natural Resources as a seasonal firefighter.
Local 828 President Justin Noel, who worked with Al for more than 20 years, said, “Al was a great man with a heart full of compassion for his community, who quietly went about his work never seeking recognition. He is a coworker and friend whom all had positive experiences with and will be sorely missed.”
In addition to his work in the fire service, Al was also a substitute history teacher at the Kalama School District and had served as the elected Port of Kalama Commissioner since 2012. He is survived by his wife Vicky and daughter Brittany.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and our brothers and sisters in Local 828 and Local 4447.
With deep regret, IAFF Local 1258 Moses Lake and the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters report the death of member Andrew Deering. Andrew passed away on September 10, 2020.
Andrew served as a fire fighter/EMT for the Moses Lake Fire Department. To those who knew him, Andrew was a fiercely loyal friend who gave to others selflessly. His “B-shift” crew always had a fun nickname for Andrew, often referring to him as “Baby Loaf,” “White Mocha,” and “Magic Man.” He was referred to as a calm in the storm while on scene with patients. Everyone around knew he was the guy they could call on. His love of his beloved Seahawks and disdain for all things vinegar will be remembered by all. Andrew was always found goofing around and outside playing with his kids. He never lost his fun-loving ways, was always a big kid at heart, and his wife, children, and family were the center of his life.
A memorial service was held on Saturday, September 19, 2020 in Moses Lake, WA.
With deep regret, IAFF Local 452 Vancouver and the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters report the death of retired member Douglas Stephen Murray on August 9, 2020. Douglas retired from Local 452 Vancouver as an honorable fire fighter and fire captain.
Douglas enjoyed hiking, camping, listening to rock music, being an IPA connoisseur and was passionate about finding the best fried chicken sandwiches and fish tacos in whatever area he was visiting. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and dog Molly.
Memorial information will be provided as it becomes available. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and our brothers and sisters in Local 452. Please share a memory of Douglas at www.columbian.com/obits.
With deep regret, IAFF Local 29 Spokane and the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters report the death of retired member Ed Foster. Ed retired on June 25, 2020 and died on July 26, 2020, due to complications from a cardiac event. Ed joined the Spokane Fire Department in March of 1993. As he left the station after finishing his final shift at Station 17, Ed shared a simple and very mindful message with his fire family, “Time flies. Please remember to be kind and do the right thing.”
With deep regret the WSCFF reports the death of Lieutenant Jay Wheeler, Local 27 Seattle Fire Fighters Union, who passed away March 4, 2020, from cancer. Jay was surrounded by friends and family. He was a firefighter on Rescue 1 before promoting to lieutenant. He was also a Seattle police officer before joining the SFD. Jay will be remembered by all who knew him for his spirit, strength, humor and his boisterous laugh that carried throughout the station for all to hear.
A public memorial service, previously scheduled for Thursday, March 26, has been cancelled due to Coronavirus concerns and shelter in place restrictions. The Seattle Fire Department will reschedule the service, and we will announce those details when they are available.
With deep regret the WSCFF reports the passing of retired Spokane Fire Department member Kenneth Strong on December 29, 2019 at the age of 91. Ken was hired by the Spokane Fire Department in 1958 and retired as a Lieutenant out of Station #17 in 1987. He served as Local 29 President for over 17 years and was very active with the WSCFF. Please keep his family, friends, and the Spokane Fire Department family in your thoughts during this difficult time.
Memorial for Ken Strong
Saturday, January 25th, 2020
Salem Lutheran Church
1428 West Broadway
Spokane, WA 99201
With profound sadness that the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters, Burien Union Fire Fighters Local #1461, and King County Fire District #2 report the death of Captain Eric Boutwell in Walla Walla on Wednesday, September 11, 2019.
Celebration of Life
Saturday, September 21, 2019
River of Life Fellowship
10615 SE 216th Street
Kent, WA 98031
Class A or B uniforms are appropriate. There will be no outside agency apparatus in the procession.
Brother Boutwell was a valued friend and colleague for all of us lucky enough to know and work with him. Eric joined the North Highline Fire District as a volunteer in 1992 and became a career firefighter at Station #18 in 1999 and touched many lives. He faithfully served the North Highline community for 26 years and, through a contractual consolidation in 2019, continued his dedicated service with King County Fire District #2. He is survived by his wife Krista, daughters Haley and Isabella; and many family and friends.
Local 1461 has established a memorial fund through the National Police & Fire Foundation to support Eric’s daughters’ education.
- Link to Make Donations: www.HonoringEricBoutwell.com
- Text To Give: Text the word “Honor” to 360-207-2170
Local #1461, the King County Fire District #2 Family, and the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters extend our heartfelt sympathies, even as we struggle to understand this tragedy. Please keep his family and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Contact Shauna Sheppard for more information: 206-209-4129.
It is with deep regret that we announce the death of Local 2776 Raymond retired member Robert (Bob) Hathaway on September 2, 2019. Bob passed away at his home after a long battle with cancer. Bob started his career at Raymond Fire Department in 1977 and became Fire Marshall 8 years later. Bob retired after 30 years but remained known as the department’s “Fix it Guy.” He was the one called on first when his fellow firefighters needed help with anything, even if they had broken it. But more than anything, Bob was a great friend. All are welcome to come and celebrate the life of Bob. The memorial is an informal service and Class A’s are not necessary.
Saturday, October 19th, 2019
St. Lawrence Church
1112 Blake Street
Raymond, WA 98577