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Authorities say Buckeye fire chief died of cardiac arrest from COVID-19 issues

Buckeye Fire Chief Bob Costello died Thursday, April 8, 2021. (City of Buckeye Photo)

PHOENIX — Buckeye Fire Chief Bob Costello died at the age of 62 on Thursday from cardiac arrest due to complications of COVID-19, the city said Monday.

“Chief Costello was a true visionary for Buckeye,” Buckeye Mayor Eric Orsborn said in a press release. “His quiet, comforting personality made him a friend to everyone he met. He was one of the most genuine people on earth and truly cared about others and the community.

“We are all still in shock over his sudden passing, but take comfort in knowing that his amazing contributions to Buckeye will have positive impacts on the city for years to come.”

Costello joined the city in 2004 and became Fire Chief in 2008, being recognized for various awards and innovative programs throughout his career including the implementation of the Community Paramedicine Program in coordination with Banner Estrella Medical Center.

He also received the Buckeye Heroism Award from the Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Dr. Paul Johnson Award presented by Abrazo West Campus in 2016, along with the Healthcare Hero Award from the Phoenix Business Journal in 2019.

“The entire city of Buckeye is grieving over the loss of Chief Costello,” Buckeye City Manager Roger Klingler said in the release. “His innovation and ability to implement forward thinking programs like the Community Paramedicine and Treat and Refer programs were true assets to the city, the department and especially our residents. He will truly be missed.”

A memorial service will take place Thursday at 10 a.m. at Christ’s Church of the Valley in Peoria (7007 W. Happy Valley Rd.), with the viewing on Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Thompson Funeral Chapel in Goodyear (926 S. Litchfield Rd.).

Both the viewing and memorial service are open to the public. The city will announce details of a live stream of the service at a later date.

The interment is private and restricted to only immediate family, members of the Buckeye Fire Department, close friends and city employees, according to the release.

Costello leaves behind a wife and brother.

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