STAMFORD, Conn. -- Richard Saunders, a 30-year veteran Stamford firefighter, died Saturday morning from complications due to a job related cancer. He was 52.
Calling hours will be held Thursday and funeral services on Friday for the Stamford native.
Born and raised in Stamford, Saunders began his career with the Stamford Fire Department in 1985 and rose up the ranks over a distinguished career that involved many memorable moments and commendations.
During his first year, Saunders, along with the rest of his crew conducted a dramatic rescue of a man trapped under an oil tanker truck. On another occasion, fire fighter Saunders joined up with another crew to rescue a man and two children from a structural fire.
In 2000, he became a Hazardous Materials Technician and for the past eight years, he was the assigned driver of Truck 2, serving the residents of the South End of Stamford.
Saunders was a certified firefighter 1 and 2, as well as a Medical Response Technician.
“For 30 years, Rick has been a valued colleague, a key part of the community and a friend to all he worked with,” said SPFFA President Brendan Keatley. “He will be sorely missed both within the department and in the larger community. On behalf of all Stamford fire fighters, my thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
He is survived by his wife, Cathy; two step-children, Michael and Kelly; two sisters; and nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 3 at the Spencer Funeral Home, 112 Main St., East Hampton. The service will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 4, at the Spencer Funeral Home. Internment will immediately follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Sandy Peszynski Breast Cancer Fund, 93 East High Street, East Hampton, CT 06424.
Condolences for the family or colleagues can be sent to IAFF Local 768, 629 Main St., Stamford, CT 06901.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.