FDNY Deputy Chief Inspector Dies of Coronavirus

April 3, 2020
FDNY Deputy Chief Inspector Syed Rahman, 59, "dedicated his life to helping others … , and New Yorkers were safer because of his outstanding work,” said Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro.

Editor's note: Find Firehouse.com's complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic here.

An FDNY deputy chief inspector died this week from the coronavirus, the department announced Friday.

Deputy Chief Inspector Syed Rahman, 59, had been with the department for 22 years and was responsible for the day-to-day management of a team of fire protection inspectors assigned to the Bureau of Management Analysis and Planning, Office of Internal Audit and Control. His duties included overseeing the construction and demolition of potentially high-risk buildings, as well as consulting with professionals from various construction trades and representing the FDNY at a variety of building industry events.

“Deputy Chief Inspector Rahman dedicated his life to helping others through his service to the Department, and New Yorkers were safer because of his outstanding work,” Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said in a statement on the department's Facebook page. “Every day, he helped accomplish FDNY’s lifesaving mission and ensured construction, demolition, and abatement took place safely in our city. Our entire Department mourns his loss.”

Before he died,  Rahman was preparing to help the Bureau of Fire Prevention on an assignment related to COVID-19 capacity enforcement. A resident of Queens, he is survived by his wife, Sadia, and four sons.

On March 29, FDNY mechanic James Villecco, 55, died from COVID-19. He had been part of the department's Bureau of Fleet Services since 2014.

Earlier this week, the FDNY released data that showed that nearly one in four of its EMS workers is out sick and nearly 17 percent of the department's firefighters are on medical leave, NBC News reports. Overall, around 3,000 first responders were not at work because of illness and 376 tested positive for the coronavirus.

Nearly two in 10 firefighters, or 17 percent, are also on medical leave, the FDNY said. About 3,000 total first responders were out sick; 376 have tested positive for the virus, the department said.

A COVID-19 Emergency Fund has been set up by the FDNY Foundation to directly help department members and their families affected by the pandemic. Go to the foundation's website to donate in support of Rahman's family or other FDNY members.

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