A Gaviota firefighter died Saturday of what officials said appeared to be a massive heart attack.
Colleagues remember Robert Moseley as a man who questioned everything, but had a spiritual side to him that once compelled him to travel to another country so he could have a better view of a total solar eclipse.
Moseley, “Bob” to his friends, collapsed while he was clearing vegetation and brush on the Wildland Training Course behind Fire Station 18 in Gaviota. Coworkers saw Moseley fall and gave him CPR while an ambulance and a helicopter rushed to the scene.
Paramedics tried to revive Moseley on the way to Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital but Moseley’s barely responded. Shortly after he arrived at the hospital he was pronounced dead. Friends and family are still waiting for the results of an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death, however Moseley’s body indicates a massive heart attack, Capt. Charlie Johnson of the Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. said.
The death of 51-year-old Moseley is the first on-the-job death the department has experienced since 1967, Johnson said.
“He was very passionate about the things he got involved in,” Johnson said. “He didn’t hesitate to ask why we were doing a particular project, whereas some of us just accept our assignment without questioning the reasoning behind it. He never went into anything blindly.”
Johnson said the department conducted a counseling session on Sunday, where coworkers came together to share their emotions.
Moseley was hired as a reserve firefighter in Buellton in 1982 and was hired full-time two years later. He worked in both the Los Alamos and New Cuyama stations before he was promoted to fire engineer/inspector in July 2000 at Fire Station 18.
“This is a very sad and difficult day for all of us in light of the shuttle Columbia disaster and now the loss of one of our own firefighters,” Fire Chief John Scherrei said in a press release on Saturday.
Moseley is survived by a son who attends Santa Barbara City College. Johnson said arrangements for a memorial service are still in the works, but friends, family and coworkers have been gathering in remembrance.
“Bob was a very personable guy,” Johnson said. “His strength was his integrity.”