Engineer/Paramedic Chadwick Jacob Mittleider, age 52, of the Aberdeen Fire Department died on December 2, 2021, after suffering a heart attack following multiple calls.
Blake A. Nelson
Firefighter Blake A. Nelson, age 35, of the Naches Fire Department, Yakima County Fire District #3 died on October 22, 2021, due to complications of COVID-19.
Dan W. Patterson
Firefighter/EMT Dan W. Patterson, age 53, of the Spokane Valley Fire Department died on August 4, 2022, after multiple responses.
Joseph B. Killian
Firefighter/Paramedic Joseph B. Killian, age 56, of Clark County Fire District 6 died on January 8, 2022, from complications of cancer.
Michael W. Bieniek
Firefighter Michael W. Bieniek, age 62, of the Grays Harbor Fire District #10 – Wishkah Fire Department died on September 2, 2021, due to complications of COVID-19.
James E. Krouse
Firefighter James E. Krouse, age 76, of the Colfax Fire Department died on August 28, 2021, after suffering a heart attack while on the scene of a wildland fire.
Luis Ignacio Batayola
Lieutenant Luis Ignacio Batayola, age 63, of the Seattle Fire Department died on November 24, 2021, due to complications of Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS).
Cody S. Traber
Cody was a devoted family man and dedicated firefighter. He was born in Seward, Alaska, on January 27, 1980. Growing up, he enjoyed ATVs, snowmobiling, and fishing. He died in a line-of-duty accident on August 26, 2021.
Cody’s family moved to eastern Washington in 1992, where he began his 18-year career in the fire service. Cody held an AA degree in fire science and a BA in communications. Prior to employment with Fire District 9, he worked part-time for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources as an engine lead. He volunteered for Stevens County FD #1, Spokane County FD #4, Cheney FD, and Kittitas County FD. He was active with all levels of training, including structural firefighting and medical. Wildland firefighting was his passion. Cody was a nationally qualified line safety officer and served on Washington Interagency Management Team #12. He was a qualified heavy equipment boss, leading dozers in firefights in the wildland urban interface across eastern Washington. He coordinated the District 9 Wildfire Training Program and served as drillmaster for the North Spokane Volunteer Firefighter Recruit School.
Cody became a paramedic in 2008 and was promoted to lieutenant in 2015. He is described as “the firefighter of firefighters” and was one of the first to step up when asked to help in any way. Fellow firefighters relate stories of how he was a great, supportive friend. If he knew of a need, he would help you with it, no questions asked and no expectation of a payback. He raised money to help send the family of a fellow firefighter to Ireland as the mother’s dying wish.
Cody loved to tease and had a great sense of humor. People loved being around him. This fun-loving, kind, and generous spirit was evident in the way Cody was with his family. He married Allisyn on December 9, 2011. They had four children, Coen, Bentley, Cayden, and Rielle. Cody made every day and every activity a fun-filled time. Cody’s father taught him construction skills, and he spent many hours working on their home and lake cabin, where he taught his children water sports. He loved celebrating holidays, BBQs on the 4th of July, pulling the kids in a trailer around the neighborhood for trick or treating, and going to the woods for a Christmas tree with hot chocolate and sledding.
Cody welcomed everyone and was inclusive of all. He was always there for his family, friends, and coworkers. His service to others and love for life and his family and friends will be a treasured memory. He will be greatly missed.
William Cababat Jr.
Seattle Fire Lieutenant William “Willy” Cababat Jr. was 55 years old when he died at home on September 1, 2021, after a 3 ½ year battle with occupational related cancer. Willy was surrounded in love by his wife, Carrie, and his children, Kalai, Jaynani, Inoa, and Keilana, when he left this earth to be with Jesus. Willy is also survived by his son, Kalena, and daughter, Ashley.
Willy worked for the Seattle Fire Department for over 31 years. He loved his job, the people he worked with, and the citizens he served. Willy always felt that it was his honor to help others who were potentially having their worst day. He not only diligently worked at his own station but was always ready and willing to help at other stations, do extra training, and work special events. Willy’s favorite moments in the department were spent around the “beanery” table with his on-shift family, talking and sharing a meal. He always said that he learned more there than anywhere else.
Willy’s commitment to his fire family went beyond his job responsibilities. He made it his purpose to be the best leader he could, a friend ready to listen, and an example to those he served beside. His son, Kalai, has followed in his father’s footsteps and serves the Seattle Fire Department as well.
As his family, we are proud of the work Willy dedicated himself to. In the time before his death, we were grateful for the moments that we had with him and watched in awe as he walked courageously to his death. Willy was a strong, dignified, and loving man. His continuous illustration of love, hard work, and passion for everything that he cared about will be his legacy through all those that knew him. We love him and miss him very much but have great comfort in knowing that we will be with him again.
Darlene G. Raffelson
Darlene Gail Raffelson died December 17, 2020, from complications of cancer deemed by the State of Washington to be in the line of duty.
She started her fire service career in 1978 with the Ocasta Fire Department and then joined South Beach Ambulance as a volunteer EMT. She graduated from the paramedic program at Tacoma Community College and was hired in Westport. In 1999, she was hired by the Tumwater Fire Department, where she worked for many years as a firefighter/paramedic on Medic 5 in the city of Tumwater. She was promoted to paramedic lieutenant and served as the department training officer. She served as secretary-treasurer for Tumwater Fire Fighters IAFF Local 2409.
Darlene served her community well and was an example to others.