Berkeley firefighters are mourning today after one of their own, 54-year-old firefighter-paramedic Anthony Nunes, was killed when his tractor overturned in rural Contra Costa County on Sunday, the city's fire chief said.
Nunes was found dead after emergency crews responded to a report of an overturned farm vehicle shortly after 6:30 p.m. Sunday near Bear Creek Road and Alhambra Valley Road west of Briones Regional Park, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District officials said.
Today would have been Nunes' 28th anniversary of working as a Berkeley firefighter, Berkeley Fire Chief Gil Dong said this morning.
Dong said the department is in mourning after learning of their colleague's death.
"It's a shock and an unexpected loss," he said. "This city and the department will miss him and his endearing smile."
Dong said Nunes was in charge of maintaining the fitness equipment at the city's fire stations and "the thing that lit him up the most was showing the fire station and fire engine to kids who would come by the station."
Nunes started as a Berkeley firefighter on Feb. 24, 1986, and had previously worked as a firefighter in Piedmont and as a reserve firefighter in Contra Costa County, the chief said.
He said Nunes' brothers were also firefighters for Contra Costa County and the East Bay Regional Park District.
Dong said the department's flags are at half-staff in honor of Nunes. A memorial service is planned for him but its date has not yet been determined, the chief said.
The cause of the tractor accident remains under investigation, according to Contra Costa County fire officials.