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Oakland Loses Another Firefighter

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  • Oakland Loses Another Firefighter

    Oakland loses another firefighter
    Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

    Wednesday, January 24, 2007

    01-24) 14:39 PST OAKLAND -- The Oakland Fire Department is mourning one of their own for the second time in less than a week.

    On Tuesday evening, recently retired Battalion Chief Angelo Primas, 54, died at his Oakland home.

    On Saturday, Lt. Kevin Reed, 47, collapsed and died while working out at a downtown Oakland gym.

    The two deaths have saddened the close-knit, 500-member department, which also buried Walt Nielsen, a retired assistant chief, the same day Reed died, Capt. Melinda Drayton said today.

    "It's been absolutely devastating," said Drayton, a department spokeswoman. It's just back to back to back."

    It has been especially difficult for firefighters at Station 8 on 51st Street near Telegraph Avenue in North Oakland, where Reed, a 16-year veteran, had worked and where Primas had spent much of his 23-year career.

    At about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oakland firefighters were called to Primas' home on Elysian Fields Drive in Oakland by his wife, Pamela, who couldn't wake him from a nap, Drayton said.

    Firefighters and paramedics couldn't resuscitate Primas, who retired from the department in March 2006.

    Primas most recently worked at the fire station at 16th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way but rose through the ranks at Station 8. He had served as a fire academy director with the department's training division and has a brother, a nephew and two cousins in the department.

    Funeral arrangements are pending.

    "He dedicated himself to Oakland and his family was very important to him," Oakland Fire Chief Daniel Farrell said of Primas in a statement.

    At about 9 a.m. Saturday, Reed was riding an exercise bike at Club One Fitness at Oakland's City Center when he collapsed, authorities said. Gym staff called 911 and used an automated external defibrillator to try to revive him.

    Reed served as a referee at high-school football games and was active on the department's softball team. "His sense of humor was infectious, and his caring gregarious nature made him an extremely likable member of the Oakland Fire Department," the agency said in a statement.

    Reed had finished a three-day shift hours before he died and had responded to a fire on the 5100 block of West Street the night before, Drayton said. The cause of his death hasn't been established. He had complained of back and chest pains before he collapsed, Drayton said.

    Reed leaves behind his wife and daughter, who live in El Cerrito. Reed's cousin, Jim Whitty, works at Station 8.

    A memorial service for Reed will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Joseph the Worker Parish, 1640 Addison St., Berkeley.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Oakland Fire Department and the families and friends of their fallen brothers.

    Rest in peace Lt. Reed and Chief Primas.

    Last edited by superchef; 01-24-2007, 10:29 PM.

  • #2
    My condolence to the Oakland FD and the families of Battalion Chief Primas, Lt. Reed and Assistant Chief Nielsen.

    Rest in peace, Brothers....
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY


    • #3
      My thoughts and prayers go out to all the members of the Okland Fire Department and the families of these brave souls who served the citizens of Okland. Rest in peace brothers.
      K-9 hunt, the ultimate challange.


      • #4
        My sympathies to the Oakland Fire Department during their time of sorrow.

        Sleep with angels, Angelo, Kevin and Walt.
        September 11th - Never Forget

        I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

        Honorary Flatlander



        • #5
          Rest in peace guys, attaboy.


          • #6
            Huge losses for our department.....both from the same station, two different shifts...the men are taking it hard.

            Lt Kevin Reed was an extremely well liked member of the Department, and active Union officer

            BC Primus had been retired less than a year....and also highly repected

            Keep them and the OFD in your thoughts please.
            Last edited by OFD226; 01-25-2007, 05:12 PM.
            "An aggressive interior attack does not mean just going inside to put out a fire. THAT'S just doing our job...."
            IAFF Local 55


            • #7
              My thoughts and prayers go out to the OFD family at this time of grief. RIP bro's.


              • #8
                Tough times here in Oakland. As all the members of this board understand tragedy and gallantry tend to go hand in hand. These men were fine examples of firemen and family men as well.

                they will be missed. Thank you all for your well wishes.
                Please be careful out there and get home safe

                With Gratitude and respect thank you
                Bruce Nielsen Captain OFD


                • #9
                  I'm so sorry Bruce...I neglected to mention your father. A highly respected Asst. Chief.

                  Sorry for your loss as well.
                  "An aggressive interior attack does not mean just going inside to put out a fire. THAT'S just doing our job...."
                  IAFF Local 55


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