Funeral held for Austin firefighter who lost battle with COVID

Family, friends, and fellow firefighters were able to say their last goodbyes to Firefighter Rodney "Rod" Kelley Tuesday afternoon after he lost his battle with COVID-19.

A funeral was held at the Coker United Methodist Church in San Antonio to remember Kelley.

He contracted COVID-19 while on the job. Austin Fire Association President Bob Nicks says Kelley spent 15 long days on a ventilator before he passed away in late August.

"Rod's death is a line of duty death and that means something. He came to work to serve the citizens he loved. He came to work that day to perform the job he loved, and he contracted the disease while on duty," said Nicks.

One-by-one those who knew Kelley reminisced on the good times with him. Some tears were shed, but so was laughter.

During the funeral, the Kelley family was presented with multiple tokens for the Austin Fire Department including his helmet, flag, and a medal of honor.

"It is my honor on behalf of the over 300,000 International Association of Firefighters Brothers Sisters across the United States and Canada to present the family of Kelley the Line of Duty Death Medal Of Honor," said Nicks.

Firefighter Rodney Kelley had been with the Austin Fire Department for 20 years.

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