By Sharon Aron Baron
A firefighter/paramedic has died after fighting a courageous two-year battle with cancer.
The Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department (CSPFD) mourns the passing of James “Nate” Leonard,43, who died peacefully surrounded by his family on Wednesday.
Born in Leavenworth, Kansas, Leonard pursued his dream of becoming a firefighter/paramedic after graduating from the Coral Springs Regional Institute for Public Safety, Class 04-03, and completing his EMT certification from the Florida Medical Training Institute. Leonard became a member of the CSPFD family on April 9, 2007.
“Nate was a true public servant. He was brave in his duties as a firefighter and paramedic, but equally brave as he faced and fought cancer,” said Fire Chief Michael McNally. While we are heartbroken by his death, our focus is on Nate’s family and providing them with the support and comfort they need as we prepare to lay, Nate, a true hero, to rest.”
Leonard earned numerous accolades throughout his career, including a Unit Citation, three Lifesaving Commendations, and a Meritorious Duty Commendation. Before his death, he served at Station 95.
Coral Springs Mayor Scott Brook said, “On behalf of the Coral Springs City Commission, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the Leonard family and his fire family. We offer our unwavering support to his grieving family during this difficult time and will forever honor Nate’s service to our community.”
Nate is survived by his wife, Nina, parents, Jim and Marilyn Leonard, and sister, Valerie Leonard.
Firefighter-occupational cancer is the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths in the fire service. Firefighter/Paramedic Leonard will be laid to rest with full honors.
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