Paramedic is 3rd member of fire department to die of COVID-19: 'This is a loss, no doubt'

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — A third active-duty member of the Chicago Fire Department has died of COVID-19.

Robert Truevillian joined the department as a paramedic 20 years ago. He was assigned to Ambulance 71, which operates out of the firehouse at 10458 S. Hoxie Ave. in South Deering.

Dr. Donald Godbold knew the paramedic when Truevillian was a tech at West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park.

“So, 80 percent of the patients who were in this West Suburban Hospital emergency department were from Chicago,” the physician said. “He was able to speak the language, so to speak. He was able to get along with those who were waiting — sometimes long time periods — in order to be seen.”

Truevillian was also able to interact with the doctors, Goldbold said.

He said he was glad to help Truevillian accomplish his goal of becoming a paramedic. The two became such good friends Godbold was a groomsman at Truevillian’s wedding.

“There are so many people who he touched, who he picked up and transported and took care of.  They’ll never know that he’s gone.  But he had a tremendous impact on them.”

At some point, Godbold said, he would like to publicly celebrate his friend’s life.

“I’d want to celebrate all the positives,” he said. “This is a loss, no doubt about it. It’s a minus.”

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