Oakland Fire Department Assistant Chief Dies From Cardiac Arrest

Sean Laffan, 42, a 20-year veteran, was a father of three boys, one a probationary firefighter with OFD

Oakland Fire Department

Oakland Fire Department Assistant Chief Sean Laffan collapsed at the department office at City Hall Monday evening and later died of cardiac arrest at a local hospital, according to the fire department. He was 42.

Laffan was working at the Office of Fire Administration in Frank Ogawa Plaza at about 5 p.m. Monday when he collapsed. Fire command staff on site immediately began life-saving measures and called Engine One to respond, fire officials said.

Laffan was taken by ambulance to Summit Medical Center and was treated by emergency room staff. At about 10:15 p.m., he suffered a prolonged cardiac arrest, and despite resuscitative efforts, his heart function never returned, the fire department said.

"We are shaken by this immense loss and focused on restoring the emotional health of this department and the Laffan family who are devastated by this tragedy," Interim Fire Chief Melinda Drayton said in a statement. "Sean Laffan was a dedicated member of the Oakland Fire Department. … Right now, we are working together across all ranks to ensure that his service to the residents of Oakland is honored and celebrated, and we’ll continue to take cues from the Laffan family to ensure we are responsive to their needs and wishes during this extremely challenging moment."

Laffan was born in Santa Clara and lived in Sacramento. He joined the Oakland Fire Department in 2000 and was promoted to the rank of interim assistant chief in June.

He is survived by his parents, wife Sabrina and three sons Caeden, Connor, and Cooper. Caeden is a probationary firefighter in the Oakland Fire Department.

Detail on services for Laffan will be forthcoming, the department said.

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