A Hudson Valley firefighter who served two tours in Afghanistan and earned a Purple Heart was found dead in his home after responding to multiple calls during Tropical Storm Isaias.
The Vails Gate Fire Department in Orange County announced that firefighter Alec Tannenbaum, a volunteer firefighter there who worked as a federal firefighter for the United States Military in West Point, was found dead in his home on Tuesday, Aug. 4.
The 29-year-old Tannenbaum completed an on-duty shift on Tuesday with the West Point Fire Department before responding to numerous alarms while volunteering in Vails Gate, assisting with the clearing of downed trees caused by Tropical Storm Isaias.
Fire officials said that Tannenbaum was found unresponsive in his home late on Tuesday. He was transported by New Windsor paramedics to St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Tannenbaum’s death is being investigated as a possible line of duty death.
Before his career as a firefighter, Tannenbaum served as a United States Marine, including two tours in Afghanistan and a Purple Heart for injuries he sustained in combat.
Tannenbaum joined the Veils Gate Fire Department in February 2016 before being hired as a career firefighter with the West Point Fire Department in June 2018. He had been striving to become a member of the FDNY, having taken the class and he scheduled to be appointed in the upcoming class.
“Alec had a great sense of humor, willing to be the brunt of many jokes, but also able to dish it out in turn, which made him beloved in the brotherhood of both departments that he served in,” the Vails Fire Department posted online. “He enthusiastically applied himself to everything it did, whether it was being a firefighter, physical fitness, helping his community, or just enjoying life.”
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