Cape Cod Community Remembers Longtime Dennis Fire Lieutenant

Dennis, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A Cape Cod firefighter has died from health complications that he developed on the job.

Lieutenant Dan "Flippy" O'Connell who was a Dennis firefighter for 23 years, lost his battle with occupational cancer on Saturday at his home in Naples, Florida.

O'Connell retired in November of 2019 because of the effects of his cancer. Dennis Fire Chief Mark Dellner said even as he was receiving treatment, O'Connell was dedicated to educating fellow firefighters from across the state.

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Dellner said O'Connell educated other firefighters on preventative measures needed to avoid deadly cancer that he and other firefighters developed in the line of duty.

In addition, he was also a major advocate of the Firefighter Cancer Bill, which was passed in 2018 and named, in part, in memory of Plymouth firefighter Anthony Colarusso.

The bill aims to extend health benefits to firefighters with occupational exposures.

Dellner says O'Connell left a hole in his fellow firefighters' hearts, but also left a legacy. O'Connell was 53 years old.

WBZ NewsRadio's Tim Dunn (@ConsiderMeDunn) reports

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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