South Bend firefighter dies from brain cancer

Captain David “Dutch” Koehler

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) South Bend Fire Department Captain David “Dutch” Koehler has died from brain cancer.

The 32-year veteran spent the majority of his career on the west side at Fire Station 4 on Olive Street.

From the South Bend Fire Department:

The South Bend Fire Department is deeply saddened with the loss of Captain David “Dutch” Koehler; age 55 who lost his battle with brain cancer on Wednesday evening.

Captain Koehler, a 32-year veteran of the department was a LaSalle High School graduate who loved to swim and play sports. Dutch served on the departments Swift Water and Technical Rescue teams and served as an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician. Dutch also served as a lead instructor for the Indiana River Rescue School in South Bend.

Captain Koehler served the City of South Bend at multiple stations throughout his tenure and spent the majority of his career on the west side at Fire Station 4 on Olive Street. Captain Koehler's battle with brain cancer dates back to 2016, and Dutch returned to work as a firefighter after his initial surgery and rehabilitation. A reoccurrence in 2019 limited Captain Koehler to office duties.

Fire Chief Cox stated, “Dutch was a very strong “firemen’s” firefighter who loved to train and would never give up under any circumstance. Captain Koehler's’ legacy will live on with the example he displayed daily on the fire ground and at the station.”

Viewing will be Tuesday, August 13th from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Saint Joseph Parish Gymnasium 216 N Hill St, South Bend, IN.

Full Honors Funeral with Mass will be Wednesday, August 14th at 10:00 a.m. at the Saint Joseph Church, 226 N Hill St, South Bend, IN.

A procession will follow the Mass and a traffic update will be released soon.

Please contact Captain Gerard Ellis for additional information.