Veteran Rye, New Hampshire, Firefighter Dies Suddenly
🚒Lt. Charles "Chuck" Gallant was a 20-year-veteran of Rye Fire Rescue
🚒He was president of Professional Firefighters of Rye Local 4411
🚒Gallant was a recipient of the Paul W. Sypek Medal of Valor
A veteran Rye firefighter and community leader died Friday at his home.
In a statement, Rye Fire Rescue said Lt. Charles "Chuck" Gallant passed away after working an overtime shift. A cause of death was not disclosed.
"Rye Fire Rescue extends its deepest condolences to Lt. Gallant’s family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time, share in the grief of losing an exceptional individual and express gratitude for his years of service and sacrifice," Rye Fire Chief Mark Cotreau said in a statement.
Gallant not only answered the call for fires during his 20 year career, but that of the community. He worked with the Rye Firefighter's Toy Bank, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and led efforts to help a family who lost their Holland Drive home to a fire in 2021. Gallant served as president of Professional Firefighters of Rye Local 4411.
Medal of Valor recipient
In 2014, he was awarded the Paul W. Sypek Medal of Valor in honor of his heroism while battling a fire on board aboard the USS Miami submarine at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in May 2012.
A flashover came at Gallant's crew, causing fellow Rye firefighter Mike Hirtle to collapse, according to WCVB TV coverage of the award ceremony. Gallant refused to leave him behind and help get him up a ladder to safety. The U.S. Senate recognized his heroism with a proclamation that hangs in the town's public safety building, according to a town newsletter.
Gallant also fought his own battle when he suffered a heat attack in 2016 while riding in the Tour DeCure (for Diabetes) in Maine, according to posts on the department's Facebook page. The fast action of fellow firefighter Jason Fritz, first responders, and Southern Maine Medical Center and Maine Medical Center were credited with saving his life.
20 New England Restaurants That Deserve to Be on Food Network
Gallery Credit: Megan