JEFFERSON CITY—Gov. Mike Parson ordered U.S. and Missouri flags be flown at half-staff at all government buildings in Cass, Clay, Jackson, and Platte counties and at fire houses across the state on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in honor of Kansas City Fire Department EMT Billy Birmingham.
Parson also ordered the U.S. and Missouri flags to be flown at half-staff at the Fire Fighters Memorial of Missouri in Kingdom City.
On April 13, EMT Birmingham died of COVID-19 after responding to several service calls in which there were patients positive for COVID-19, according to the Kansas City Fire Department. His death is the first known COVID-19 line-of-duty death of a first responder in the state of Missouri. His funeral will be held on April 22.
“In the face of this unprecedented public health crisis, Billy Birmingham repeatedly and without hesitation risked his own health and safety by responding to emergency calls,” Parson said. “EMT Birmingham died heroically and selflessly in service to others. His death is a reminder to all of us to appreciate and thank the EMTs, paramedics, and all first responders who are serving on the frontlines in the battle against COVID-19.”
EMT Birmingham served as a member of the Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust (MAST) from 1998 to 2010 and continued his service as a member of the Kansas City Fire Department following the consolidation of MAST and KCFD in 2010. He was an ordained minister and founded Agape Love Ministries of Christ Unlimited in 2012. He was 69 years old and is survived by six children, 14 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.