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'He was as cool as it gets,' recalled Division Chief David Nemeyer, who worked with Ilg for years.

FOREST GROVE FIRE & RESCUE - Captain Rick Ilg passed away from brain cancer Sunday.Forest Grove Fire & Rescue is mourning the death of Captain Rick Ilg, who passed away at his home Sunday. He was 49.

After being diagnosed with brain cancer in 2018, Ilg returned to the force before ultimately retiring over the summer.

Ilg started his career of service as a paramedic with Metro West Ambulance and joined Forest Grove Fire & Rescue in 2006.

He was awarded a Medal of Valor for his role in a technical rescue in the Oregon Coast Range in 2014 before being promoted to lieutenant and captain.

"He was a legend in the world of emergency medicine. Rick was an incredible paramedic," Forest Grove Fire & Rescue Division Chief David Nemeyer said. "He was as cool as it gets on very high-risk calls, and his guidance has undoubtedly helped save so many lives."

Cancer is considered a cause of line-of-duty death for firefighters who frequently consume carcinogens and toxins.

"This is hard, but cancer has been talked about so much in our business," Nemeyer said. "Seeing Rick go through this horrible time was a gut punch for our staff. It really drives home the importance of taking steps to prevent cancers."

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