South Metro Fire Rescue firefighter and paramedic dies of occupational cancer

Anthony “Tony” Palato, a veteran firefighter and paramedic in the metro area died of cancer on Wednesday. South Metro Fire Rescue announced that Palato died in the “Line of Duty.”

Palato began his career with the Sheridan Fire Department and he joined the Cunningham Fire Department in 2000, according to South Metro Fire Rescue Authority. Cunningham merged with South Metro in 2018.

Diagnosed with an “occupational cancerous tumor” in 2017, Palato’s cancer went into remission but it returned, SMFR said. Palato retired in March because of his cancer.

“As a paramedic for 21 years, there is no doubt that Tony touched many lives and will be remembered as a kind, caring and compassionate person with a true servant’s heart, he will be greatly missed,” the fire department said.

On Wednesday, flags at SMFR facilities were flown at half staff and personnel badges were shrouded in tribute of Palato.

He is survived by his wife; two daughters and “his second family of firefighters,” SMFR said on Twitter.


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