CALIFORNIA—A Los Angeles Fire Department firefighter and paramedic Jose M. Perez passed away on Saturday, July 25, due to COVID-19 complications.

Perez served as a firefighter and paramedic for 16 years with the LAFD. He was assigned to LAFD stations 39, 52, 65, 33, and station 21 near downtown Los Angeles for the past four years. Perez was 44 years old when he passed away at a Los Angeles hospital.

Perez and another firefighter on the back of a firetruck. Photograph courtesy of the LAFD.

The LAFD wrote in a press statement that many people have shared stories on social media about how Perez made a positive impact on so many lives. The LAFD highlighted one story from fellow firefighter and paramedic David Chavez:

“Several years back after learning that a fellow Firefighter was experiencing some financial hardship and stress, Jose took it upon himself to purchase Disneyland passes for the Firefighter and his family. Jose’s generosity did not end there, he then proceeded to accompany them to Disneyland along with his family and purchased all the meals of the day as well as souvenirs for the kids to take home. That’s who Jose was!!!!”

The LAFD asked for all donations to be given to the Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firefighters fund, which can be found by clicking here.

As of July 24, 145 LAFD employees have tested positive for COVID-19; 108 of them have recovered and returned to work, and 26 are currently recovering at home. Perez is the first death of an LAFD employee who tested positive for COVID-19.

The LAFD thanked the La Palma Police Department, Orange County Fire Authority, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the California Highway Patrol, for participating and honoring Perez on a procession from the hospital.

The LAFD extended their most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Perez. Perez leaves behind a wife and three children.