Christopher Slutman FDNY

FDNY

Fallen FDNY Firefighter Christopher Slutman Honored At Ladder 27

April 09, 2019 - 7:03 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) — A decorated FDNY firefighter was among three American service members killed by a roadside bomb while traveling in a convoy in Afghanistan on Monday, officials said.

Christopher Slutman, a U.S. Marine and FDNY firefighter at Ladder 27 in the Bronx, was killed in the bombing of a convoy near the Bagram Air Base north of Kabul.

The FDNY said the 43-year-old was a devoted husband and father of three.

According to the FDNY, he spent time at two ladder companies during his 15 years with the department, but on Tuesday, purple and black bunting was hung at Ladder Co. 27, along with the Marine Corps flag.

“Chris was always an individual who just wanted to go above and beyond. He wanted the next challenge, that was just his personality,” Captain Steven Moore said.

He added that he knew the job would get done when Slutman was on the truck.

“He was brave conscientious dependable and always rose to the occasion,” Moore said.

Slutman earned a Fire Chiefs Association Memorial Medal in 2014 for crawling through flames to rescue an unconscious woman inside an apartment fire in the South Bronx.

"The decorated 15-year-veteran of the department is truly one of New York City’s Bravest – running into danger to protect and defend others, both in New York City and in combat overseas," de Blasio said. 

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro called Slutman a hero who "bravely wore two uniforms and committed his life to public service both as a New York City firefighter and as a member of the United States Marine Corps."

Slutman is the fourth FDNY member to die while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan since U.S. military action started in 2003.

"Christopher was a distinguished firefighter who had a profound impact on both of his firehouses, Ladder Companies 27 and 17. Together, all firefighters grieve the loss of our brother, Christopher, who dedicated his life to protecting the people of this city, and our nation," said Gerard Fitzgerald, President of the FDNY-UFA Firefighters Association.

"Through this trying time, we will remember Chris for the father, husband, brother, son, and friend that he was, the moral character he displayed daily, and the courage and conviction to serve his fellow Americans, both at home and abroad," the Kentland Volunteer Fire Department in Maryland, where Slutman was also a member, wrote on Facebook.

Two U.S. soldiers were also killed in the attack, which is the deadliest against military forces in Afghanistan this year. An American contractor was also injured, according to officials.

One of the soldiers was Locust Valley native Robert Hendriks, who joined the Marines right after graduating from high school in 2012.

His mother said he loved what he did and he was always willing to die for his country.

The Taliban, which is in ongoing talks with the U.S., claimed responsibility for the attack.

In their claim of responsibility, the Taliban said they launched the attack and that one of their suicide bombers detonated his explosives-laden vehicle near the NATO base.

Afghanistan bombing
Photo by Xinhua/Sipa USA

The base in Bagram district is located in northern Parwan province and serves as the main U.S. air facility in the country.

Monday's U.S. fatalities bring to seven the number of U.S. soldiers killed so far this year in Afghanistan, underscoring the difficulties in bringing peace to the war-wrecked country even as Washington has stepped up efforts to find a way to end the 17-year war, America's longest.

There are about 14,000 U.S. forces in Afghanistan, supporting embattled Afghan forces as they struggle on two fronts — facing a resurgent Taliban who now hold sway over almost half the country and also the Islamic State affiliate, which has sought to expand its footprint in Afghanistan even as its self-proclaimed "caliphate" has crumbled in Syria and Iraq.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report)