Firefighter dies at home after day of clearing downed trees

VGFD with memorial bunting in honor of firefighter Tannenbaum.

VAILS GATE – Alec Tannenbaum, a 29-year-old career firefighter with the West Point Fire Department, passed away Tuesday evening.  The death is being investigated as a possible  “Line of Duty Death.”

Tannenbaum had finished his shift at West Point Wednesday morning and then proceeded to answer calls with the Vails Gate Fire Department, where he served as a volunteer since February of 2016.  Vails Gate Chief J.D. Merritt said Tannenbaum spent Tuesday responding to several calls clearing downed trees along with other emergency calls as Tropical Storm Isaias battered the region.

The firefighter was found unresponsive at his home on Tuesday night and transported by New Windsor EMS to Montefiore St. Luke’s-Cornwall Hospital but was unable to be revived.

Firefighter Tannenbaum.

Tannenbaum’s Marine Corps service included two tours in Afghanistan where he received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat.

Upon leaving the military, he joined the Vails Gate Fire Company as a volunteer where he is being hailed as “An integral part of the department, showing an aptitude and enthusiasm for learning the job and a willingness to do whatever was needed,” according to a statement released by Vails Gate’s Chief J.D. Merritt and Company President Michele Bender.

On June 18, 2018, the Marine became a career firefighter with the West Point Fire Department.

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