Anthony “Tony” Palato, a senior firefighter and paramedic in the metropolitan area, died of cancer on Wednesday. South Metro Fire Rescue announced that Palato died on the “mission line”.
South Metro Fire Rescue is very sad to announce that the firefighter paramedic Anthony Palato has passed away peacefully today (September 15, 2021). pic.twitter.com/LcPULI167e
-South Metro Fire Rescue (@SouthMetroPIO) September 15, 2021
According to the South Metro Fire and Rescue Department, Palato started his career at the Sheridan Fire Department and joined the Cunningham Fire Department in 2000. Cunningham merged with South Metro in 2018.
SMFR said that Palato’s cancer was diagnosed with an “occupational cancerous tumor” in 2017, and the condition later resolved but recurred. Palato retired from cancer in March.
The fire department said: “As a 21-year paramedic, Tony has undoubtedly touched many people. He will be remembered as a kind, caring and compassionate person with a true servant heart. We will be very Miss him.”
On Wednesday, the flag of the SMFR facility was lowered to half mast, and personnel badges were shrouded in tribute to Palato.
His wife survived; two daughters and “his second firefighter family,” SMFR said on Twitter.