Alameda Fire Department/Mill Valley, Tamalpais, Marin County Fire Departments
Alameda Fire Captain Scott Carnevale died of work-related cancer Monday, a spokesman for the firefighters union said. He was 42.
Friends and co-workers of Carnevale, a firefighter since 1993, said that he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in March, a consequence of continual exposure to harmful smoke, soot and fumes.
“He was diagnosed just months ago, but the cancer was already in stage four at that time,” said Jeff DelBono, a spokesman for the Alameda firefighters union, IAFF Local 689. “He endured 11 rounds of chemotherapy before passing away.”
Carnevale began his career as a firefighter for the Alameda Naval Air Station Fire Department.
In 1997, he joined the Alameda Fire Department, where he was promoted to apparatus operator in 2001 and fire captain in 2007.
Carnevale was in charge of Fire Station 2, which includes a fire engine, a ladder truck and an ambulance.
DelBono said that Carnevale had been on leave from the department just prior to his diagnosis, after developing a severe sore throat.
DelBono lamented Carnevale’s premature death and said that the entire department looked up to him.
“He was a stand-up guy. Great, with a great set of morals,” he said. “Sometimes you can’t help but think that this kind of stuff happens to the wrong guys—he was the wrong guy.”
DelBono said that, in addition to his responsibilities as captain, Carnevale led the department to participate in the California Professional Firefighters Exposure Reporting Program.
He also served as an executive board trustee and shift vice president for Local 689.
He was committed to preventing cancer and promoting awareness over the last months of his life, DelBono said.
“I think that one of his last wishes was for the public to know that firefighters are still dying from cancer at record rates,” DelBono said.
Carnevale lived with his family in Mill Valley and is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Carnevale, and his 8-year-old son.
A memorial service is scheduled for January 14 at 11 a.m. on the USS Hornet. Firefighters have also planned a procession through the city before the ceremony, DelBono said.