LODD: Batt. Chief, navy veteran dies at D.C. military base

Chief John McDonald, 54, began his firefighting career in 1974 as a volunteer firefighter.

WASHINGTON — A Navy veteran and long-time fire official died Friday morning while on duty.

FirefighterCloseCalls reported that Naval District Washington (NDW) Fire and Emergency Services Batt. Chief John McDonald, 54, died while on duty at the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling.

Chief McDonald began his firefighting career in 1974 as a volunteer firefighter with the Stafford (Va.) Volunteer Fire Department. He continued his volunteer service until his death and was a life member of the department.

“The loss of Chief McDonald is indescribable. His leadership, courage and camaraderie will be sorely missed, not only by this fire department, but by the larger Navy family,” NDW Fire and EMS Acting District Chief Jeff Williams said.

He served in many roles, including fire chief, operations fire chief, training division chief and a member of a safety review board, according to the report.

“This is a tremendous loss of a friend, a former union leader and a well-respected chief,” Gregory Russell, president of the International Association of Firefighters National Capital Firefighters Local F-121, said. “This union is eternally grateful for his service and fraternal brotherhood.”

A memorial service with full honors is being planned, but additional details are not yet available.

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