A HERO IN TWO WORLDS IS LOST: Christopher Slutman, seen here in 2014 holding a plaque honoring him for crawling along the floor of a blazing apartment to rescue an unconscious woman, was killed April 8 by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, where he was serving as a Marine reservist. Members of his fire company, Ladder 27 in The Bronx, held a ceremony outside the firehouse as a tribute after getting news of his death.

City Firefighter Christopher Slutman was killed April 8 by the detonation of a roadside bomb north of Kabul, Afghanistan, where he was on active duty as a Marine reservist. 

Firefighter Slutman, 43, had 15 years on the job and leaves behind his wife Shannon and three young daughters. He worked with Bronx Ladder Companies 17 and 27.

Three Others Died

Marine Cpl. Robert A. Hendricks, 25, of Locust Valley, Nassau County, and a third Marine, Sgt. Benjamin S. Hines, 31, of York, Pennsylvania were also killed in the blast. The trio were members of the 25th Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Marine Corps Reserve. 

A fourth, unidentified American private contractor was also killed. 

In 2014, Firefighter Slutman received the Fire Chiefs Association Memorial for teaming up with Lieut. Gregory Macagnone and crawling on the floor of an apartment already ablaze to extract an unconscious woman trapped in a back bedroom. The woman survived.  

He joined the Fire Department in September 2003. After eight years of active-duty service as a Marine, he became a Sergeant in the Marine Reserves. He was also a member of the Emerald Society. 

Funeral arrangements are still pending.

Union’s Tribute

“On behalf of the 20,000 active-duty and retired members of the FDNY Uniformed Firefighters Association we offer our sincerest condolences to the family and loved ones of Firefighter Christopher Slutman,” Uniformed Firefighters Association President Gerard Fitzgerald said in a statement. “Together, all firefighters grieve the loss of our brother, Christopher, who dedicated his life to protecting the people of this city, and our nation.” 

"Firefighter Slutman bravely wore two uniforms and committed his life to public service both as a New York City Firefighter and as a member of the United States Marine Corps,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said in a statement. "The hearts and prayers of the entire department are with his loved ones and with the families of his fellow service members who lost their lives in service to our nation."

“Christopher Slutman was a decorated FDNY firefighter with Ladder 27 in the Bronx. A U.S. marine. A father of 3. His death in a bombing in Afghanistan is unconscionable,” U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said in a statement. 

Mayor de Blasio, who met Firefighter Slutman at the 2014 Medal Day ceremony, ordered city flags lowered to half-mast,

Governor Cuomo, who had state flags lowered, said of the two New Yorkers who were killed, "Their deaths are a tragic reminder of the bravery and sacrifice of our service members, who put their lives in harm's way to protect our values and way of life.” 

4th Killed in Middle East

Firefighter Slutman was the 1,152nd member of the Fire Department to die in the line of duty. He is the fourth member to be killed while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003.  

Firefighter Christian P. Engeldrum was killed while serving in Iraq in November 2004. Lieut. Christopher J. Raguso and Fire Marshall Christopher T. Zanetis died in March 2018 in a helicopter crash in Iraq. 

Seventy-three members of the FDNY are on active-duty assignments around the world, while 1,400 are either reservists or veterans.  

So far this year, seven American service members have died in combat in Afghanistan. Last year, 13 U.S. service members were killed in Afghanistan. Roughly 14,000 continue to serve there. 

The 17-year long Afghanistan military engagement is the longest in American history. In recent years, as American military focus shifted to countering the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the Taliban resurged and now controls close to half of Afghanistan.  

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