Middletown fire chief battling cancer, awaiting liver: How to help

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Combined ShapeCaption
Chief Paul Lolli talks about Water Plant leak

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

While Paul Lolli, Middletown’s fire chief since 2014, awaits a liver transplant after he was diagnosed with cancer, members of the Middletown Firefighters Local 336 are selling T-shirts in his honor.

Proceeds from the sales will be donated to Lolli to help financially, but more than the money, the shirts are showing support for the ailing fire chief, said Capt. Jon Harvey.

Combined ShapeCaption
Middletown Fire Chief Paul Lolli, right, talks to city council members and city officials last year inside Station 81 on North Clinton Street. They took a bus tour of the four fire stations in operation in Middletown and one of Fairfield Township’s more modern stations. Lolli has been dignosed with liver cancer and is awaiting a transplant. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Middletown Fire Chief Paul Lolli, right, talks to city council members and city officials last year inside Station 81 on North Clinton Street. They took a bus tour of the four fire stations in operation in Middletown and one of Fairfield Township’s more modern stations. Lolli has been dignosed with liver cancer and is awaiting a transplant. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Middletown Fire Chief Paul Lolli, right, talks to city council members and city officials last year inside Station 81 on North Clinton Street. They took a bus tour of the four fire stations in operation in Middletown and one of Fairfield Township’s more modern stations. Lolli has been dignosed with liver cancer and is awaiting a transplant. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

“We want him to know that we’re thinking of him and we’re behind him,” Harvey said. “We are taking up the fight for him. Like I have always said, ‘No one circles the wagons like firefighters.’”

TRENDING STORY: Coronavirus: Infection rate drops below 1 in Dayton region

Lolli’s sister, Ginger Bruggeman, can attest. Four years ago, her son, Scott D. Bruggeman, 45, a retired Middletown firefighter, died after battling heart disease for almost two years. He had worked with the Middletown Division of Fire for 20 years, retiring in 2015. He also served in the Marine Corps during the Gulf War.

Middletown firefighters were there for her family throughout the medical ordeal and they remain supportive today, Bruggeman said.

“They were with us until Scott took his very last breath,” she said. “It helps them heal. It’s a family and they have to do something for their brothers so they feel like they’re a part of it. Once you’re in the family, you’re in the family.”

Lolli, who turned 59 this month and has served with the fire department for 27 years, received a blood transfusion Tuesday at UC Medical Center. His sister said he’s “doing very well.”

TRENDING STORY: 911 caller on Ross Twp. fisherman’s drowning: ‘The current got him’

Bruggeman described her brother as “a fighter” and “very humble.”

One of their brothers Frank Lolli died in 2013, leaving nine children in the family, and Bruggeman, 70, is the oldest. Their mother, Patricia, died at 55, and since then, Bruggeman has served as surrogate mother to her six brothers and two sisters.

The T-shirts are black, white and green and carry the phrase “Together We Are Strong,” the chief’s last name and the word “Fight” on a fire ax worked into a flag design. Harvey expects Middletown residents to show their support for Lolli, the same as they have by passing public safety levies and dropping off food at the fire stations.

Bruggeman said she gets emotional when she reads some of the comments on social media about her brother.

“Warms my heart,” she said.

She expects to feel the same when she sees someone wearing one of her brother’s commemorate T-shirts.

“Hope to hold it together,” she said.


HOW TO ORDER:

WHAT: T-shirts to support Middletown fire Chief Paul Lolli

WHEN: Orders taken until midnight June 28. Shirts can be picked up at the Middletown Headquarters, 2300 Roosevelt Ave., from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning July 6. Order at https://supportlolli.alleycatstore.com.

HOW MUCH: $20-$25 depending on style

MORE INFORMATION: Contact Capt. Jon Harvey at 513-425-7996 or jonh@cityofmiddletown.org

About the Author