Vails Gate Firefighter mourned by family, colleagues

Posted 8/12/20

The Vails Gate Fire Department announced the untimely death of one its members last week.

Alec Tannenbaum, 29, was found unresponsive in his home last Tuesday following a shift with the VGFD and a …

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Vails Gate Firefighter mourned by family, colleagues

Posted

The Vails Gate Fire Department announced the untimely death of one its members last week.

Alec Tannenbaum, 29, was found unresponsive in his home last Tuesday following a shift with the VGFD and a day shift as a paid member of the West Point Fire Department.

Tannenbaum had completed his on-duty shift with West Point Fire Department on the morning of August 4. During the afternoon, he responded to numerous alarms with the Vails Gate Fire Department. He assisted with the clearing of many downed trees that were the result of damage inflicted by Tropical Storm Isaias.

Tannenbaum was found unresponsive in his home Tuesday. He was transported by New Windsor EMS to St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital, but sadly he was unable to be revived. His passing is being investigated as a possible Line of Duty Death.

A graduate of Newburgh Free Academy, Tannenbaum served his country as a United States Marine. He served two tours in Afghanistan, and was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat. He joined the Vails Gate Fire Department in February of 2016.

On June 18, 2018, he was hired as a career firefighter with the West Point Fire Department. Colleagues said he had an ultimate goal to become a New York City firefighter, and had taken the exam and was due to be appointed to upcoming FDNY class.

“Alec also had a great sense of humor, willing to be the brunt of many jokes but also able to dish it out in turn, which made him beloved in the brotherhood of both departments that he served,” according to a post on the Vails Gate Fire Department Facebook Page. “He enthusiastically applied himself to everything he did, whether it was being a firefighter, physical fitness, helping his community, or just enjoying life.”

Survivors include his mother Heidi, brothers Greg and Blake, girlfriend Meagan and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. A graveside service was held Sunday at Cedar Hill Cemetery, following by a celebration of life at the Vails gate Fire Department.

“Alec proudly served his country and his community with everything he had,” noted the VGFD in a prepared statement. “Most importantly, he was a friend and brother to us all, and will be sorely missed.”

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