UPDATE (Thursday, March 24): The City of Portsmouth Fire Department has provided the following information about Firefighter Edward Long’s funeral arrangements:

A visitation will be held at Ralph Scott Funeral Home (1422 Lincoln Street, Portsmouth, Ohio 45662) on Saturday, March 26th from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Funeral services will be Sunday, March 27th at the James A. Rhodes Athletic Center, Shawnee State University (940 2nd Street, Portsmouth, Ohio 45662) at 3 p.m. with visitation an hour prior to the service.

Internment will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens (8580 Gallia Street, Franklin Furnace, Ohio 45629).

PORTSMOUTH, OH (WOWK)—A Portsmouth firefighter died in the line of duty on Tuesday.

The Portsmouth Fire Department announced that Firefighter/EMT Edward Long was serving as Engine 2 Engineer when he became unresponsive while returning from a call. He suffered a medical emergency, and they say his crew and the staff at the SOMC Emergency Department tried to revive him, but he passed away at 11:30 a.m.

Long was hired at the Portsmouth Fire Department in March of 1995. In a Facebook post, Portsmouth FD said:

By all accounts Ed was an excellent Driver/Engineer. No one knew his truck as well as he did. No one took care of this truck as well as he did. Ed also was known as quite the story teller, especially the length of his stories and the enthusiasm with which he told them.

Ed liked his steak well done to the dismay of his crew. Ed snored to the dismay of his crew. And Ed loved and spoke often of his family. It was rare to see Ed out and about without one or all of his kids in tow. As much as we hurt right now, we can only imagine the pain his family is feeling. We ask that you keep his family and all that knew and loved him in your thoughts and prayers in difficult days ahead.

Portsmouth Fire Department Facebook Post

In addition to working for the Portsmouth Fire Department for more than 27 years, Ed also worked as a special deputy for the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office since 1986, and was a United States Army veteran.

Across the city Wednesday, flags flew at half-staff in honor and remembrance of Edward Long.

“First responders are like a special group of people. They really sacrifice a lot in order to serve and protect their community… Somebody with this much commitment and service to the city of Portsmouth, it’s just irreplaceable,” says Larry Mullins, director of the Scioto County Emergency Management Agency.

“It’s difficult, because we’re very close. We work close on a lot of different incidents so you grow to know each other and they become your brother and sister when you’re out there,” says Sheriff David Thoroughman of Scioto County.

Long is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. Arrangements are still being made, and the Portsmouth Fire Department said they will announce them on Facebook.