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Tempe Fire Medical Rescue mourns passing of Tempe Firefighter

Cancer fight claims 37-year-old husband and father of two young daughters

Post Date:03/06/2020 7:46 AM

Tempe Fire Medical Rescue is mourning the loss of Firefighter Tommy Arriaga, age 36, who passed away early on the morning of March 6, 2020, following his battle with colorectal cancer. Tommy’s death represents Tempe Fire Medical Rescue’s second line-of-duty death and full honors will be extended throughout his service.  

Tommy is survived by his wife Monica and his two daughters Miranda, age 7, and Madalynn, age 3.

Tommy began his career with the department in 2014, and he quickly demonstrated his commitment to providing the highest level of service to the residents of Tempe and surrounding cities. In 2016, Tommy became a member of the Hazardous Materials Response Team, where he served until early 2019 when he was diagnosed with cancer. His cancer has been determined to be related to his work.

Tommy was honored as the Tempe South Rotary Club Outstanding Firefighter/Employee of the Year award on Feb. 28 for his dedication to improving the fire service, even while battling cancer.

 “Tommy effortlessly demonstrated passion, humility and perseverance throughout his life and career with the Tempe Fire Medical Rescue Department,” said Fire Chief Greg Ruiz. “He exuded the true meaning of courage in the face of adversity and through every obstacle life threw his way. He inspired all those around him with his positive attitude and will continue to do so after his passing. Tommy will be deeply missed by all who served with and around him.” 

Tempe Fire Medical Rescue’s first line of duty death was in 1980, with the passing of Firefighter Ed Gaicki during a fire at a Tempe business.


Media contacts:

Assistant Fire Chief Andrea Glass, 480-858-7201

Nikki Ripley, City of Tempe, 480-313-8850

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