3 Central Florida first responders died from COVID-19 complications this week

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — An Orange County deputy, Port Orange police officer and a Melbourne firefighter all died from complications of COVID-19 this week.

Read tributes to their lives and service from each of their respective departments below:

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Deputy First Class Craig Seijos

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday that Deputy First Class Craig Seijos, 54, died from complications of COVID-19 after nearly three decades of service within the department.

“Craig dedicated much of his life to serving the residents of Orange County,” Sheriff John Mina said in a statement. “We will always be grateful for his service and he will never be forgotten.”

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The sheriff’s office said Seijos was a dedicated family man who adored his wife and five adult children. His colleagues said he was an extremely generous person and was always willing to donate to a good cause.

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Officer Justin White

The Port Orange Police Department announced Thursday that Officer Justin White died from COVID-19 complications, leaving behind his loving wife and children.

The department said White was a veteran member of the police department family. They described him as a dedicated husband, father, and fierce advocate for the officers he worked alongside.

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“We are grateful for his service, dedication, and sacrifice to our agency and this community,” the department said in a statement.

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Driver Engineer Scott Allender

The city of Melbourne announced Wednesday that Driver Engineer Scott Allender passed away on Tuesday evening after battling COVID-19 since early July.

The city said Allender served the citizens of Melbourne for 22 years as a firefighter, including 19 years as a paramedic.

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“Scott was instrumental in training many of the department’s newer paramedics,” the city said in a statement. “His personnel file is full of letters and recognition for his services to the community.”

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.