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Garrett Edward Ramos


Lieutenant Ramos was on-duty for a 24-hour shift that began at 7:00 a.m. on Dec. 3, 2021. At 11:04 p.m., Lieutenant Ramos and his crew were dispatched to an automatic aid structure fire.

Firefighters arriving on the scene found a fire in an attached garage that had extended into the house. Firefighters, including Lieutenant Ramos, advanced hose lines into the garage and house, extinguished most of the fire, and opened up the ceiling to access fire in the attic. Lieutenant Ramos and his crew were running low on air, so they were relieved by other firefighters. As he exited the building, Lieutenant Ramos fell through a fire weakened part of the floor into the basement. His fall was not observed by anyone on the scene.

At approximately 12:42 a.m., firefighters determined that Lieutenant Ramos was not accounted for, and a personnel accountability report was ordered. It was determined that Lieutenant Ramos was missing and a search commenced.

Lieutenant Ramos was found unconscious in the basement of the house. He was transported by ambulance to Community General Hospital in Sterling and was pronounced dead a short time later. His death was caused by asphyxiation. Lieutenant Ramos was posthumously promoted to Captain.

photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Garrett Edward Ramos was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.

Department information

Sterling Fire Department
110 W 5th ST
Sterling, Illinois 61081

Chief: Michael Dettman

Age: 38
Rank: Lieutenant
Classification: Career
Incident date: December 3, 2021 12:42 a.m.
Date of death: December 4, 2021
Cause of fatal injury: Fall
Nature of fatal injury: Asphyxiation
Activity type: Advance Hose Lines/Fire Attack (includes Wildland)
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Residential

Last updated: September 28, 2022