An Idaho senior firefighter and driver-engineer diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder took his own life late last month, according to an on-duty death notification from the U.S. Fire Administration.
Boise firefighter Charles Ruffing, 53, was found dead May 21 at the department's Station 6, the USFA announced Monday. A memorial for Ruffing was held Saturday at the Nampa Civic Center, and hundreds of mourners turned out to pay their respects in the city where he was born.
Ruffing served in the Navy for four years, and he had been with the Boise Fire Department for 20 years, his obituary stated. In 2007, he was named Boise's Firefighter of the Year, and he earned that distinction for the state the following year.
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"We lost a friend, and we lost a brother, but we're going to try to learn from this,” Boise City Fire Chief Dennis Doan, who was Ruffing's captain from 2006 to 2008, told KTVB-TV. “We're going to try to do better in the future so this never happens again."
Ruffing is survived by his wife, Tonya, five children and seven grandchildren.