CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Fire Department is mourning the loss of its first active-duty paramedic lost to COVID-19. He was a man praised by his colleagues for his ability to bring a sense of calm to a chaotic job.
Ambulance 71 lost its paramedic-in-charge Thursday morning after 55-year-old Robert Truevillian lost his weeks-long battle to COVID-19.
"Literally I got on my knees to pray that Rob would come thru this," said Dep. Dist. Chief Michael Spencer.
"It broke my heart this morning," said Asst. Dep. Chief Keith Gray.
Gray knew Truevillian for nearly two decades. The two were former partners.
"The care that he provided to the citizens of Chicago, I mean, he treated everyone as if it was his family members," Gray said.
Saving lives was a passion, both on and off the job.
"Go way out of his way to help anybody," fellow paramedic Daniel Payne said. "It's just the type of man he was."
His colleagues shared stories of the devoted husband and father of who helped mentor young men in Englewood.
"We miss you brother," Payne said. "We love you, we got it from here."
The department will honor Truevillian by placing special purple bunting on the South Deering fire house Friday.
Chicago paramedic Robert Truevillian loses weekslong battle to COVID-19