Marion County firefighter dies after 'daunting battle' against COVID-19 since 2021: 'He was family'

Photo: Marion County Fire Rescue

Marion County Fire Rescue is mourning the loss of one of its firefighters who died Sunday after a years-long "daunting battle" against COVID-19. 

Charles "Chuck" Westphal, a driver engineer with the fire department, was battling COVID-related issues since his hospitalization in August 2021, a spokesperson told FOX 35. He was on a ventilator for 133 days in the ICU and had been dealing with "residual issues" since then. 


Photo: Marion County Fire Rescue

"Chuck's courage, dedication, and indomitable spirit have left an everlasting mark on our department, and he will be deeply missed. … Let us remember Chuck for his infectious laughter, his unwavering dedication to our mission, and the countless lives he touched throughout his career. As we mourn his passing, let us also celebrate the life he lived and the impact he made on all of us," Marion County Fire Rescue said in a social media post.

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Funeral arrangements will be shared when they are available, the fire department said.