KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – A Kansas City Fire Department Fire Captain has died in the line of duty from the coronavirus.
The Greater Kansas City Firefighters announced the news Saturday morning on their Facebook page.
“It is with profound sadness that I write to inform you of the line of duty death of Kansas City Fire Department Fire Captain and IAFF Local 42 Member Bobby Rocha. Bobby fell ill and was diagnosed with COVID-19. Brother Rocha fought valiantly against this virus and his fight was a testament to his strength as a person. Brother Rocha was a friend and inspiration to many and his passing comes with great grief. At this time the Local will be providing the family with support in their time of need. We will post additional information and service arrangements as soon as they become available. In this difficult time please do not hesitate to contact any of your Brothers and Sisters to talk or seek assistance from 42 Cares while dealing with this tragic event. Please continue to keep our KCFD and Local 42 family and the family and friends of Brother Rocha in your thoughts and prayers,” the Facebook post read.
The Kansas City Fire Department said Captain Rocha was a 29-year-veteran of KCFD and was 60 years old.
"I am sad to report that KCFD Fire Captain Robert “Bobby” Rocha lost his battle with COVID-19 early this morning. He was a vibrant and beloved part of the KCFD Family for 29 years," said KCFD Fire Chief Donna Maize. "His passing represents a personal loss to all of us who knew him. I cherish both his friendship and professionalism. KCFD first responders continue to put their lives on the line daily in service to our City as this pandemic rages on. My request to all is to follow the guidance to protect yourself and your family from this virus."
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas posted a statement on Twitter.
“My condolences to the family of Fire Captain Bobby Rocha and to all the brave women and men of the @KCMOFireDept . Captain Rocha died in the line of duty from COVID. He honorably served Kansas City for years, touching an immeasurable number of lives with his heroism along the way. Captain Rocha fought valiantly for weeks against COVID-19. We honor his sacrifice and courage for the people of Kansas City and pray for his family, friends, our Fire Department, and all our frontline workers facing this terrible disease."
“Our sympathies are with the Rocha family, and we thank Captain Rocha for his decades of service to our city,” said Acting City Manager Earnest Rouse. “COVID is affecting our family of city employees, and this loss is a terrible reminder that we all need to help stop the spread.”
KCFD lost EMT Billy Birmingham this past April also due to COVID-19.