Oakland Mourns Sudden Loss of Assistant Chief

Interim Assistant Chief Sean Laffan (department photo)

Interim Assistant Chief Sean Laffan who passed away at the age of 42

Oakland Fire Department, Facebook

It is with great sadness that we share news about the loss of our brother, Interim Assistant Chief Sean Laffan who passed away tragically last night at the age of 42.

Today, Interim Oakland Fire Chief Melinda Drayton issued the following statement on the tragic loss of Interim Assistant Fire Chief Sean Laffan:

“We are shaken by this immense loss and focused on restoring the emotional health of this department and the Laffan family who are devastated by this tragedy,” said Interim Fire Chief Melinda Drayton.

“Sean Laffan was a dedicated member of the Oakland Fire Department. He began his career in Oakland Fire twenty years ago, graduating from the Fire Academy on December 23, 2000, and he represented our department and the City of Oakland with distinction and enthusiasm for the fire service and our community throughout. Right now, we are working together across all ranks to ensure that his service to the residents of Oakland is honored and celebrated, and we’ll continue to take cues from the Laffan family to ensure we are responsive to their needs and wishes during this extremely challenging moment.”

On Monday evening (11.16.20), at approximately 5:00 PM, Oakland Fire Department Assistant Chief Sean Laffan collapsed in the office of Fire Administration in 150 Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Fire command staff on site urgently began taking life saving measures and requested Engine One to respond. He was taken by ambulance to Summit Medical Center and was immediately treated by ER staff.

His family was notified and were met at the hospital by members of the OFD Command and Executive Staff, and leadership from Local 55.

Tragically, at approximately 10:15 PM, Assistant Chief Laffan suffered a prolonged cardiac arrest, and despite all resuscitative efforts, his heart function never returned.

Sean Laffan was 42 years old. He was born in Santa Clara and lived in Sacramento. He joined the Oakland Fire Department in 2000, and was promoted to the rank of Interim Assistant Chief in June 2020.

He is survived by his parents, wife, Sabrina, and three sons Caeden, Connor, and Cooper. Our hearts go out to the entire Laffan family, and all who know him, worked alongside him, and loved him.

Please keep the Laffan family and all the members of OFD in your thoughts, especially his son Caeden who is a Probationary Firefighter in the Oakland Fire Department.

The Oakland Fire Department and Local 55 will do everything necessary to ensure that his life and service are honored and his memory celebrated.

The Fire Department will continue to provide updates on next steps and forthcoming plans to celebrate his life. Chief Melinda Drayton and the Laffan family sincerely appreciate the outpouring of support, thoughts and blessings during this extremely difficult time.

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