Polk County Fire Rescue Mourning Loss of Firefighter

Bartow, Fla. (February 1, 2019) — It is with great sadness that Polk County Fire Rescue was alerted to the unfortunate death of one of its own members on the afternoon of Thursday, January 31.

Just before 3:00 p.m., the Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to Firefighter / Paramedic Chad “Connor” Kuschel’s residence and found him deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

Chad has served since September 2015, and was a dedicated and honorable member of the Polk County Fire Rescue family. During his three years and four months, he served the residents of Polk County with the utmost pride. He was 25 years old.

Arrangements for Firefighter / Paramedic Kuschel’s funeral have not yet been finalized.

Fire Chief Tony Stravino and the Polk County Fire Rescue Division ask that you keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.    

Per the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, an autopsy is being conducted today to determine his exact cause of death, but it does appear to be a suicide.    


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