Seminole Tribe of Florida fire chief dies from COVID-19 contracted in the line of duty

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Donald DiPetrillo, Fire Chief for the Seminole Tribe of Florida since 2008, died late Thursday night (April 30) at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood after contracting COVID-19 in early March.  He was initially hospitalized March 10, released the following day and readmitted March 12.  He was undergoing treatment at Memorial Regional Hospital since then.

Chief DiPetrillo is believed to have contracted the virus while on duty attending the “EMS Today” emergency medical services conference in Tampa in early March.

A resident of Davie, Chief DiPetrillo had been Fire Chief/Director of the Seminole Tribe of Florida since 2008.  He previously was Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director for the Town of Davie from 2001 through 2007.  Prior to that, he was Assistant Fire Chief for the City of Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Department from 1973 to 2001.

“Don played a major role in bringing a new level of professionalism to the Fire Department operations of Seminole Fire Rescue,” said William Latchford, Executive Director of Public Safety for the Seminole Tribe of Florida.  “Chief DiPetrillo understood that success in life was about just being nice.  If you care for people, the rest takes care of itself.  His care, commitment, and leadership for over 50 years of service, helped shape the future of the fire service, not only within the Seminole Tribe, but also in the State of Florida.”

Chief DiPetrillo was a graduate of Barry University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration.  He also held an associate’s degree in Fire Science from Broward College.  He graduated from McArthur High School in Hollywood, Fla., in 1967.

Chief DiPetrillo joined the U.S. Navy in 1971 as a Yeoman 2nd Class and served on board the U.S.S. Wasp.  He was honorably discharged into the United States Reserves in 1972.

He is survived by his mother, Joan; son, Tyson, of Davi;, two brothers, David and John; and, Lindy Maracic, his girlfriend.

Donald DiPetrillo

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