Friends and family gathered to remember 62-year-old Buckeye Fire Chief Bob Costello on Wednesday at Thompson Funeral Chapel in Goodyear.
Memorial services were held for Buckeye Fire Chief Bob Costello who died after a battle with COVID-19. A procession took place Thursday from Thompson Funeral Chapel in Goodyear to Christ’s Church of the Valley in Peoria.
“Even from the hospital bed, infected with COVID, he was still worried about the citizens of Buckeye and the firefighters and fire department getting vaccinated and taken care of,” says Community Paramedicine manager Robert Garza with the City of Buckeye Fire Department.
Chief Costello battled the virus for months but never let it show. He also never left his duties aside, leading people to believe he was doing better.
“Just a week previous he was in those safety meetings and talking about how we begin to open the city back up, talking about safety measures and making sure we are being responsible and all that,” says Mayor Eric Orsborn, City of Buckeye.
But, the virus took a toll on his body. Chief Costello died Thursday from cardiac arrest due to complications of COVID-19, something he worked so hard to stay ahead of.
“When testing became available he was first in line to order testing. We changed our role a little bit in the community paramedicine program for one, to where we started testing any and all of firefighters, their spouses, city employees and then we eventually branched out into the public,” says Garza.
Chief Costello did the same when it came to vaccinations, leading the operations within the city and it came as no surprise.
“He’s been part of the growth of Buckeye, which has been fantastic. Chief has helped economic development projects come to Buckeye,” says Mayor Orsborn.
He was also instrumental in laying the building blocks and foundation for the fire department, going from one fire station to now six, full-time stations throughout the city. But, it’s what he taught his crews that will truly be remembered.
"These people are having the worst days of their lives, you're there to help mitigate that problem. Always think of the people we encounter out there as... that's somebody's mother, that's somebody's daughter, that's somebody's father,” says Garza.
Community members are invited to the funeral procession Thursday, April 15 at 9:00 a.m. It will go from Thompson Funeral Chapel in Goodyear to Christ’s Church of the Valley in Peoria. A memorial service will follow.