DES MOINES, Iowa — A Des Moines Fire Department engineer has died after an on-duty medical event took place on Friday.
The Des Moines Professional Firefighters association IAFF Local 4 released a statement on Facebook on Saturday saying Fire Engineer Douglas McCauley passed away.
Engineer McCauley was a 29-year veteran of the Des Moines Fire Department, serving at Fire Station 9.
Des Moines Firefighters IAFF Local 4 President Joe VanHaalen said McCauley passed away at 10:31 Saturday morning after being taken off of life support.
“Pretty tough day for our members. Doug was a great part of our DMFD family,” he said.
The fire department extended its condolences to Engineer McCauley’s families, particularly his two sons Ryan and Cole. Officials say the department is now focused on providing support for Engineer McCauley’s family and other members of the department who are grieving.
Engineer McCauley reportedly suffered significant cardiac arrest, but an autopsy on Sunday will determine his exact cause of death.
Firefighters are setting up a public memorial at Station 9 (located at 48th and Douglas) to honor Engineer McCauley.
“Yesterday morning, Doug and I were visiting. He had been on the treadmill working out. Looked good, confident man,” said Brian O’Keefe, a spokesman for the department. “And couple hours later, I find out he’s in the hospital, in critical condition.”
O’Keefe says the Des Moines Fire Department is no stranger to dealing with tragic loss, and this latest one hits hard considering the amount of police officers the area has lost in the past 12 months.
“We’ve been through this with the Des Moines Police Department, Urbandale Police Department recently,” he said. “This was the station that transported and treated that Des Moines police officer. So, we know about public safety, and the risk involved.”
The Des Moines Fire Department tweeted a video of the procession escorting Engineer McCauley to Broadlawns Medical Center on Saturday.
— Des Moines Fire Dept (@DSMFireDept) February 11, 2017
Funeral service details will be released at a later date.