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24-Year Veteran Firefighter Dies in His Sleep at Station

24-Year Veteran Firefighter Dies in His Sleep at Station

The Yuma Sun via YellowBrix

May 26, 2010

YUMA – A firefighter who served the Yuma community for more than 24 years with the Rural/Metro Fire Department died while on duty Saturday night.

Captain and paramedic David Irr died in his sleep at Station 2 and was found by fellow firefighters the next morning. He was 49.

“We are devastated by the loss of our friend David,” said Gary August, division general manager for Rural/Metro in Yuma. “David dedicated his life to serving our community with grace and skill. He’ll be sorely missed by all his friends and peers, and our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go to his family.”

Fellow firefighter Rusty Leonard described Irr as a hard worker and a good guy to have to have around the station. “He really liked what he was doing. He loved his family and was always talking about his two girls.”

Irr was born and raised in Yuma. He attended Kofa High School and graduated from Northern Arizona University. Active in the community, he was a member of the Yuma Jaycees and Knights of Columbus, a volunteer for the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office and an Eagle Scout.

Survivors include his wife, Kathryn; his daughters, Christa and Kayla; his parents, Frank and Maureen; brothers Frank Jr., Steve and Kevin; and sister, Margo.

A vigil will be held Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. at Desert Valley Mortuary, 15877 S. Avenue B, with a procession beginning at 9 a.m. Friday from the mortuary to St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1815 S. 8th Ave. Services will be held at 10 a.m.

Irr’s casket will be carried on top of one of Rural/Metro’s firetrucks during the procession, according to Leonard.

Leonard added that fellow Rural/Metro firefighters from Phoenix and Tucson will be coming to Yuma on Friday to fill in for local Rural/Metro firefighters so they can attend Irr’s funeral.

An account has been set up for donations to Irr’s family at AEA Federal Credit Union, 275 W. 17th Place, Yuma, AZ 85364. The account number is 998050-000.