'The ultimate sacrifice:' firefighter Sean McAdam who died on duty remembered by community

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Two days after a Louisville firefighter died while on duty because of a medical emergency, he was honored with black drapes across his fire station.

Sean McAdam was 49 when he died. Quint 7, McAdam's home fire department, held a traditional bunting ceremony Friday to remember "one of Louisville's greatest" after 20 years of service, according to Maj. Bobby Cooper, spokesperson for the Louisville Division of Fire.

In a bunting ceremony, firefighters mourn the passing of a firefighter who died in the line of duty by hanging up black drapes, in this case, on the fire station and on trucks parked nearby.

Louisville firefighters put a ribbon up to honor their fallen colleague Sean McAdam during a procession at the Louisville Fire Department Quint 7 in Louisville, Ky, on May 13, 2022. McAdam died in the line of duty on May 11, 2022.
Louisville firefighters put a ribbon up to honor their fallen colleague Sean McAdam during a procession at the Louisville Fire Department Quint 7 in Louisville, Ky, on May 13, 2022. McAdam died in the line of duty on May 11, 2022.

McAdam's cause of death has not been disclosed. His passing is the 69th line-of-duty death at the city of Louisville Fire Department, according to Fire Chief Gregory Frederick.

McAdam received several awards for his service, including three citations and the Division's Medal of Valor.

The fallen firefighter made "the ultimate sacrifice," said Greg Raney, McAdam's cousin.

McAdam began his career as a firefighter in March 2002, according to remarks at the ceremony. At Quint 7, he was a firefighter, responded to medical emergencies and assisted with rescues.

"Sean was always somebody that you could count on to be there when you needed and to pull you out of a bad situation," said Ainsley Alexander of New Albany, Indiana, whose husband, Sgt. Joseph Alexander, worked with McAdam.

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Louisville Firefighter Sean McAdam died from a medical emergency May 11, 2022.
Louisville Firefighter Sean McAdam died from a medical emergency May 11, 2022.

Chief Frederick remembered McAdam as a man who served his community with "honor, pride, loyalty and dedication."

"Words cannot express grief," he said. People must rely on each other to ease the pain of McAdam's passing.

Chief Cooper said McAdam was an organ donor, a surprise for some. "It says a tremendous amount. It speaks volumes of the person that Sean was and the commitment that he had in life, saving lives and serving the public."

Cooper said it was a testament to McAdam's commitment to service that he will continue to save lives after his passing.

Mayor Greg Fischer delivered a proclamation to McAdam's sister, Kelley McAdam Hudson, for her brother's "unflinching service."

Fischer called McAdam a beloved friend and father whose compassion will be felt for years to come.

"We will always remember his service," Fischer said.

Louisville firefighters pay their respects to fallen firefighter Sean McAdam during a procession at the Louisville Fire Department Quint 7 in Louisville, Ky, on May 13, 2022. McAdam died in the line of duty on May 11, 2022.
Louisville firefighters pay their respects to fallen firefighter Sean McAdam during a procession at the Louisville Fire Department Quint 7 in Louisville, Ky, on May 13, 2022. McAdam died in the line of duty on May 11, 2022.

A procession from the University of Louisville Hospital, 530 S. Jackson St., to the Owen Funeral Home-Jeffersontown, 9318 Taylorsville Road, will take place for McAdam at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

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Contact reporter Rae Johnson at RNJohnson@gannett.com. Follow them on Twitter at @RaeJ_33.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Sean McAdam remembered in service after line-of-duty death

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