Funeral Set for Wisconsin Firefighter

Funeral services are set for Saturday for a Wisconsin firefighter who collapsed Tuesday night during a training drill.

David Allan Rufer, 42, of the Monroe Fire Department had been involved in regulator training just prior to collapsing, said Deputy Chief Lane Heins.

The volunteer/paid on call firefighters were on a 20 minute break after performing hose drills while wearing SCBAs. "We were getting cleaned up, and getting ready for the next evolution when he collapsed," Heins said.

Fellow firefighters immediately attempted to revive him. The effort was continued en route to Monroe Clinic where he was pronounced dead.

"He was a great asset. He was very active in not only our department, but he taught extrication around the area," Heins said, adding that the victim's father also is a firefighter and former assistant chief.

The Monroe Fire Department has 43 volunteer/paid on call members. Flags at the station and throughout the city are at half staff in his honor.

This is the department's first line-of-duty death, said Chief Daryl Rausch.

Rufer had been with the department for more than 20 years. "He was very pro-active, specializing in rescue situations, Rausch said."

Firefighters from Illinois have volunteered to handle calls for Monroe from 11-4 Saturday so its members can attend the service, the chief said. "We're expecting a large crowd. We've had more than 100 e-mails and phone calls.

Rufer is survived by three children.

Visitation will be 4 - 8 p.m. on Friday, June 15 at the Shriner, Hager, Gohlke Funeral Home at 1455 Mansion Drive in Monroe.

Funeral services will be held at St John's United Church of Christ at 1724 14th Street on Saturday, June 16 at 1 p.m. There will be a walking procession from the church to the cemetery following the service. Area fire departments are invited to participate.

Staging for personnel and apparatus will be at the Monroe fire station at 1110 Eighteenth Ave. beginning at 11 a.m.

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