It is with deep regret that the Vails Gate Fire Department announce the passing of Firefighter Alec Tannenbaum. He was 29 years old. In addition to being an active volunteer member with Vails Gate, he was also worked as a Federal firefighter for the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY.
FF Tannenbaum had completed his on-duty shift with West Point Fire Department on the morning of August 4, 2020. During the afternoon, he responded to numerous alarms with the Vails Gate Fire Department. He assisted with the clearing of many downed trees that were the result of damage inflicted by Hurricane Isaias.
FF Tannenbaum was found unresponsive in his home on the evening of August 4, 2020. He was transported by New Windsor EMS to St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital, but sadly he was unable to be revived. His passing is being investigated as a possible Line of Duty Death.
Prior to beginning his career in the fire service, Alec proudly served his country as a United States Marine. He served 2 tours in Afghanistan, and was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat.
FF Tannenbaum joined the Vails Gate Fire Department in February of 2016. He quickly became an integral part of the department, showing an aptitude and enthusiasm for learning the job, and a willingness to do whatever was needed.
On June 18, 2018, Alec was hired as a career firefighter with the West Point Fire Department. He was readily accepted into the ranks, where his abilities as a firefighter were quickly recognized. He took every opportunity to learn as much about the job as possible. Alec had an ultimate goal to become a New York City firefighter, and had taken the exam and was due to be appointed to upcoming FDNY class.
Alec also had a great sense of humor, willing to be the brunt of many jokes but also able to dish it out in turn, which made him beloved in the brotherhood of both departments that he served in. He enthusiastically applied himself to everything he did, whether it was being a firefighter, physical fitness, helping his community, or just enjoying life.
The officers and members of the Vails Gate Fire Department wish to extend their deepest condolences to the Tannenbaum family, as well as to Alec’s extended family at the West Point Fire Department and the United States Marine Corps. Alec proudly served his country and his community with everything he had. Most importantly, he was a friend and brother to us all, and will be sorely missed.
Vails Gate Fire Department Chief J.D. Merritt
Vails Gate Fire Company President Michele Bender