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The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has received notice of the following firefighter fatality: IL

It is in great sadness, that we as a Brotherhood, post the 41st Line Of Duty Death for 2016 from the United States Fire Administration. Fellow Brother Firefighter & Captain Eric Kohlbauer has made the ultimate sacrifice in love for their fellow man. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family, friends and our Brothers & Sisters with the Freeport Rural Fire Protection District.

Eric Kohlbauer

Rank: Captain
Age: 52
Gender: Male
Status: Volunteer
Years of Service: 30

Date of Incident: 07/12/2016
Time of Incident: 1930hrs
Date of Death: 07/12/2016

Fire Department: Freeport Rural Fire Protection District
Address: 4500 Pearl City Road, Freeport, IL 61032
Fire Department Chief: Mike Wichman

Incident Description: Captain Kohlbauer was working with other members of his fire department on a pumper relay drill when he suddenly collapsed and fell face forward into a dump tank of water. Fellow responders immediately placed Kohlbauer on the ground and rendered medical aid, including AED. Within minutes, Captain Kohlbauer was transported to the hospital where, despite all best efforts, he succumbed to his injury reported to have been an aortic rupture.

Incident Location: Fire Station 2, 2045 Baileyville Road, Freeport, IL 61032

Tribute is being paid to Captain Eric Kohlbauer at

To date, 41 firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2016. Year-to-date and annual USFA firefighter fatality reports are posted online at

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