TACOMA, Wash. - The Tacoma Fire Department is mourning the loss of firefighter Albert Nejmeh, who died in the line of duty on Tuesday.

Twelve-year veteran firefighter Albert Nejmeh, 59, was on scene of an aid call when he suffered an apparent heart attack.

After Nejmeh collapsed, he received immediate basic and advanced life support from his fellow firefighters, who then transported him to the hospital.

Fire Chief Jim Duggan said this is the department's first line of duty death since 1988, and many of Nejmeh's friends are struggling with this loss.

Al was a wonderful man, he was unique, he lived a deliberate, genuine, and authentic life and we are going to miss him, said Duggan.

Nejmeh was also a songwriter and singer. He was one of several Tacoma city employees who in 2010 wrote music and performed on The CD of Tacoma Music Project Volume II.

Tom Haneline was a Battalion Chief when Nejmeh started with Tacoma Fire in 2001.

He's a brother, said Haneline. You don't meet people like that, maybe once in your life. It'll never be the same now that he is gone.

Details regarding the memorial service will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Albert Nejmeh Benevolent Fund c/o Tacoma Firefighters, 1109 South 50th Street, Tacoma, WA 98408. Other expressions of sympathy or condolences can be sent to Tacoma Firefighters at 1109 South 50th Street, Tacoma, WA 98408.

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