Kalama firefighter dies after responding to 2 emergencies


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Kalama Fire firefighter died of a heart attack Friday after responding to two emergency situations. 

Lt. Alan Basso spent 21 years as a volunteer firefighter and fire captain with the Kalama Fire Department. He also worked as a career firefighter and lieutenant with the City of Longview Fire Department for more than 21 years.

On Friday, nearly four hours after his last emergency call, he suffered cardiac arrest while driving and crashed into parked cars. He was rushed to the hospital, but did not survive. He was 59 years old.  

Basso graduated from Kalama High School in 1980 and received his bachelor’s degree in history from Washington State University. 

Kalama Fire Chief Victor Leatzow has known Basso for years and said, “It is difficult to capture in words the true spirit of such a pure, sincere human being. The honesty, humor and integrity of Alan cannot be replaced within our community or organization.” 

On Monday, Nov. 30, the administration and commissioners of Cowlitz County Fire District #5 will meet with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Kalama Professional Firefighters Local 4447, Longview Professional Firefighters Local 828, and the Cowlitz Chaplaincy for memorial remembrance planning.  

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