Cleveland firefighter dies after testing positive for COVID-19: ‘A true hero’

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Lieutenant Richard A. Petras (Courtesy: Association of Cleveland Fire Fighters IAFF Local 93)

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has learned a Cleveland firefighter has died after testing positive for COVID-19.

The president of the Cleveland firefighters union, Local 93, confirmed Lieutenant Richard A. Petras passed away Saturday.

Union President Francis Lally said, “There’s a fire lieutenant who has passed away from COVID-19 complications.” He added, “We’re asking everyone to keep us in their prayers.”

Lally said Petras passed away after 26 years of dedicated service. “In the face of this pandemic, Rich never neglected his duty and never backed down. He knew the risks, and he continued to serve – a true hero. Today, Rich succumbed to complications of COVID-19. As we offer our sincere condolences to Rich’s family, we ask everyone to join us in keeping them in our thoughts and prayers. Rich, you will be missed. Rest easy Brother, we will take it from here.”

The FOX 8 I-Team also reached out to City of Cleveland officials to learn more. The tragic news of Petras’ death came as the city announced 31 new coronavirus cases in Cleveland.

Just this week, the I-Team revealed the findings of a study by MetroHealth Medical Center investigating the risks of COVID-19 for Cleveland firefighters and paramedics.

The study found of 300 firefighters and paramedics, 15 either currently tested positive for COVID-19 or had recovered from it. Some also were unaware they had been infected. About three-quarters of those in the study also had cared for patients with COVID-19 in their line of duty.

See the I-Team report in the video, below:

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