SPOKANE, Wash. — Members of Spokane's firefighting and law enforcement communities are mourning the loss of a recently retired firefighter who passed away on Sunday, July 26.
A spokesperson for the City of Spokane said on Friday that Mayor Nadine Woodward has ordered all flags to be lowered on Monday, August 3, in memory of retired Spokane Firefighter Ed Foster.
“We are deeply saddened by the death of Firefighter Ed Foster,” said Mayor Woodward. “We will remember him for his dedication to the Spokane community, his sense of humor and kindness. We send our deepest condolences to Firefighter Foster’s fiancé, family, friends and colleagues at SFD.”
Foster unexpectedly passed away on Sunday, July 26, due to complications from a cardiac event. Cardiac incidents are a leading cause of death for firefighters.
Due to circumstances surrounding Foster's passing, his death is considered line-of-duty.
Foster worked for the Spokane Fire Department for 27 years, joining in March 1993. He retired only a month before his passing.
When Foster left his final firefighting shift, he shared this message with his colleagues: "Time flies. Please remember to be kind and do the right thing."
"If any of us ever needed an example of a good firefighter, it was Ed. His nickname of 'Buzzsaw' was fitting because if there was work to be done, he would put his head down and get after it," reads a Facebook post from Spokane Firefighters Union Local 29
"More importantly, Ed was humble, kind, pleasant to be around, and always had a good attitude. Ed was a wonderful son, brother, significant other, friend, and co-worker," the post continues. "Ed, it was an honor working with you, and you will be missed greatly by all those your life has touched."
In another Facebook post, Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said additional details would be released regarding ways to honor Foster.
"During the time that Firefighter Foster served our community he touched many lives. His values and memory will live on through his brothers and sisters of Spokane Fire Department," Schaeffer wrote.
The Spokane Police Department also mourned Foster's loss on Facebook with a message reading, "Rest in Peace Ed, we have the watch from here."