Michigan firefighter struck, killed during ‘Fill The Boot’ fundraiser

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Wednesday night Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, the Lansing Fire Chief and Lansing Police Chief Mike Yankowski gathered together inside the Lansing Fire Station to update the media on the investigation.

Dennis Rodeman had worked for the Lansing Fire Department for seven years and he had served in the US. Marine Corps.

He and his wife got married about 2 months ago and the couple is expecting their first child.

“The Lansing Fire Department has suffered a tremendous loss this evening,” Lansing Fire Chief Randy Talifarro said.

Members of the Lansing Fire and Police Department stand with heavy hearts mourning the loss of their fellow co-worker, family member and friend.

Dennis Rodeman, 35 years old, and seven year veteran of the Lansing Fire Department was tragically hit and killed by a 22-year old this afternoon while he was collecting donations during the department’s annual “Fill the Boot” charity event for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

“He was a very well thought of, highly regarded individual,” Lansing Fire Chief Randy Talifarro said.

“It’s hard to put Dennis in words, he was probably the most fantastic human being i’ve ever met,” Charles Stadt, Lansing Firefighter PIO said.

Lansing Firefighter Charles Stadt worked very closely with Dennis Rodeman for seven years working day in and day out with one another.

“He’s one of the guys that would be the first one to take his shirt off and give it to you,” Stadt said. “We’re going to a charitable event one guy doesn’t come home… I mean that’s….you can’t prepare for that.”

“I love him like I love my own brother, I was just at his house last week,” Stadt said. “To hear a brother isn’t coming home.”

“This is a shocking and unthinkable tragedy,” Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero said. “The loss of Dennis Rodeman is a blow to the Lansing family.”

“Dennis Rodeman was a hero when he came to work here having served his country in Iraq and he’s a hero at least two or three times over,” Mayor Bernero said.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero says flags will fly at half-staff Thursday all city buildings and the mayor’s office is working with the International Association of Firefighters to help set up a fund for Dennis Rodeman’s family.

6 News will bring you information on that as soon as it becomes available.

More details is expected to be released in the coming days as to what led up to such a tragic and senseless act.

Right now, the 22 year-old driver is in custody and could face Open Murder charges as well as Fleeing and Eluding, a felony.

The Lansing Police Department is also asking that if anyone has any information on this case to contact them at (517) 483-4611.

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