By Sharon Aron Baron
The Seminole Tribe of Florida is mourning the death of Fire Chief Donald DiPetrillo, who lost his battle with COVID-19 on April 30.
A South Florida fire chief for nearly 50 years, Di Petrillo, 70, was a Davie resident and died late Thursday night at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood after contracting COVID-19 in early March.
First hospitalized March 10, he was released the following day, and then readmitted March 12 to the hospital, where he remained undergoing treatment.
DiPetrillo is believed to have contracted the virus while attending an EMS Today Conference in Tampa between March 2-6, where over 4,500 professionals attended.
“The men and women of the Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department are shocked and saddened to hear about the loss of Chief DiPetrillo,” said Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department Fire Chief Michael McNally.
McNally said Chief DiPetrillo had been a fixture in Broward County for 50 years.
“Don had such a huge impact on the safety of the residents and visitors of Broward County…..and was instrumental in making Broward a safe place to live and visit. So many of the fire safety laws we have in place today are a result of Chief DiPetrillo and his attention to detail. He will be missed by the whole fire service.”
DiPetrillo began his service in 1971 when he enlisted in the United States Navy.
In 1973, he started his fire service career with the City of Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Department (FLFR). In 2001, DiPetrillo retired from FLFR and was hired as the Fire Chief for the Town of Davie in 2001, where he served until 2007.
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Seminole Tribe of Florida Fire Chief Donald DiPetrillo,” said Congressman Alcee L. Hastings in a statement.
“A respected pillar of the Davie community, Fire Chief DiPetrillo always worked with a great deal of professionalism in all that he did and was a source of true leadership for the entire Seminole Tribe Fire Department.”
“My thoughts and prayers are with his girlfriend Lindy, mother Joan, son Tyson, his brothers, and the entire Davie community during this time of great sadness and loss,” said Hastings.
DiPetrillo was hired as the Fire Chief for the Seminole Tribe of Florida in 2008, where, according to a statement from Fire Chiefs Association, DiPetrillo was heavily involved in so many aspects and will be missed by anyone he has come in contact with.
Di Petrillo also served as the President of the Fire Chiefs Association of Broward County and Chair of the Conference Committee.
“His 50 years of selfless service to our nation and South Florida will leave a huge hole in our hearts.”
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