Longtime Ann Arbor firefighter passes away after battling cancer

‘Our hearts are broken,’ department writes on Facebook

Retired training officer Craig Sidelinger. (Ann Arbor Fire Department)

ANN ARBOR – Retired training officer with the Ann Arbor Fire Department, Craig Sidelinger, passed away on Monday morning after a nearly two-year battle with colon cancer.

The department posted the news on its Facebook page and provided a link to a GoFundMe that has been set up for an educational fund for Sidelinger’s young children.

Our hearts are broken this morning. Retired Training Officer Craig Sidelinger passed away this morning after a...

Posted by City of Ann Arbor Fire Department - Government on Monday, January 4, 2021

In 48 hours, the fundraiser surpassed its goal of $10,000 and as of Monday afternoon, the fund has received $16,038 in donations.

On Dec. 28, Sidelinger was discharged to hospice care. To honor their colleague, firefighters and first responders from surrounding area departments came out in numbers to the hospital to salute Sidelinger.

Sidelinger joined AAFD as a firefighter in 2000. He held the position for 10 years before advancing to training officer -- a role he also held for 10 years.

According to AAFD, Sidelinger was the longest-serving training officer in the department.

“Craig’s influence was significant both internally and externally,” read an AAFD Facebook post from Dec. 24. “He was key in AAFD’s upgrade to basic life support status along with being the AAFD liaison for numerous EMS pilots with both Washtenaw / Livingston Medical Control Authority and Michigan Medicine.

“He also helped teach public outreach such as Safety Town, Ann Arbor Ready, and the City Citizen’s Academy. Craig ensured all firefighters maintained their EMT certification along with the department’s State licensure. For many years, Craig was the AAFD rep in the U-M Emergency Operations Center for football games, where he worked with agencies across Washtenaw County.”

To visit the GoFundMe page, click here.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.