PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A retired Captain with the Peoria Fire-Medical Department has died following a lengthy battle with occupational cancer.
A Peoria Fire Department spokesperson said retired Captain David Rehnke died after battling kidney cancer for ten years. Rehnke's death is considered a line-of-duty death since the cancer was caused from his occupation. Rehnke started his career in 1989 and was promoted to an engineer in 1996. Rehnke was promoted to the rank of Captain in 2008, and retired in 2015. According to Peoria Fire, Rehnke made his mark with the department during his years as an engineer.
During his battle with cancer, Rehnke was an advocate for Arizona firefighters to work smarter, and safer, to be covered in the state's presumptive cancer statute. Arizona currently recognizes seven occupational cancers related to firefighting.
The Peoria Fire Department said in a statement:
Losing Dave we lost a great person and a beloved family man. Dave Rehnke is survived by his wife of 30 years, Brenda, his daughter Shannon, and his son Dustin. The Peoria Fire-Medical Honor Guard will stand watch over Retired Captain Dave Rehnke until he is brought to his final resting place.
Rehnke's family has requested donations be made to The Firefighters Cancer Awareness Support Network in lieu of flowers.