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Colorado firefighter dies from occupational cancerous tumor

Anthony Palato will be remembered as a kind, caring and compassionate person with a true servant’s heart.

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) has announced the Line of Duty Death of Firefighter Paramedic Anthony Palato.

Palato, known to family and co-workers as Tony, passed away peacefully early Wednesday, said SMFR.

Palato was unexpectedly diagnosed with an occupational cancerous tumor in 2017, and although he went into remission a few years ago, the cancer returned.

Tony was surrounded with a strong support network including his wife, their two daughters and his second family of firefighters, according to SMFR.

Palato began his fire service career with the City of Sheridan Fire Department and later joined the Cunningham Fire Protection District in 2000.

In 2018, Cunningham unified with South Metro Fire Rescue where Tony worked until he medically retired on March 1, 2021.

Credit: South Metro Fire Rescue
Firefighter Paramedic Anthony Palato

"As a paramedic for 21 years, there is no doubt that Tony touched many lives and will be remembered as a kind, caring and compassionate person with a true servant’s heart, he will be greatly missed," said a statement from SMFR.

"Effective immediately, flags will be flown at half-staff at all SMFR facilities and badges worn by SMFR personnel will be shrouded until further notice."

Details of Palato’s memorial service will be shared at a later date.

Credit: South Metro Fire Rescue
Firefighter Paramedic Anthony Palato
Credit: South Metro Fire Rescue

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