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Chicago Paramedic Robert Truevillian Dies Of COVID-19

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Chicago Fire Department paramedic, Robert Truevillian, has died of COVID-19, according to the fire department.

Truevillian joined the department as a Paramedic in December 2000. He was assigned to Ambulance 71, stationed at 10458 S. Hoxie in the South Deering neighborhood.

He becomes the third active duty CFD member to die of COVID-19 complications.

When things got intense on a scene Truevillian was the guy who could slow things down and keep people relaxed in the worst of scenarios. Thursday night his guys at the firehouse missed that calming presence.

"I literally i got on my knees to pray that Rob would come through this," said Deputy District Chief Michael Spencer.

Truevillian was paramedic in charge of Ambulance 71.

"It could be a chaotic scene multiple victims, he had ability to slow down and organize," said Daniel Payne, Paramedic in Charge of Ambulance 29.

But Truevillian's rank as a husband and father always came first.

"He had four kids, two daughters and two sons," said Spencer.

"My heart just goes out for his wife and kids," said lifelong friend Sarah Sulton. "Follow the guidelines because there are people risking their lives to take care of us and we need them."

Fellow firefighters say Truevillian had been battling COVID-19 for about month.

"We knew he had been sick and steadily getting worse," said Payne.

He is the third member of the department and first paramedic to die from COVID-19 complications.

"As many encounters as the paramedics have on a daily basis its amazing this is the first one," said Spencer.

"We miss you, brother. We love you and we got it from here," said Spencer. "We honor him by getting back on the ambulance."

The district chief said he's been eating alone at his desk for some time to practice social distancing but Thursday said he regrets not having one more meal with Truevillian.

Bunting will go up to honor him at the firehouse Friday morning.

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