BALTIMORE (WJZ) — To Chris Schaffer, his dad was immortal.

“It never felt real, like ‘Oh Dad caught it but he’s going to be fine,’ he was always too busy to get sick,” Schaffer said.

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His father, Jeffrey Schaffer, was a life-long paramedic with 48 years of service at departments across Baltimore and Carroll counties. Jeff Schaffer had been riding in the ambulance with COVID-19 positive patients and became ill.

“When he got to the point that his temperature was well over 101 or 102 my mom took him to the hospital” Schaffer said.

His dad died August 10, 2020.

For someone who committed decades to serving others, his son Chris said he always knew his dad loved to help others.

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“I always remember him jumping out from the dinner table, running off to calls or, if we were out at the store something happens, he was always right there. The first one to jump in,” Schaffer said.

Friend and colleague, Michael Stewart, said Jeff stepped up when a lot of older providers were stepping back as the pandemic began and so little was known about the virus. He never switched shifts.

“He kept working his same shifts he kept doing the same stuff as a volunteer; it was like nothing changed for him,” Stewart said.

On May 7 at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, Jeff Schaffer will be honored along with other fallen heroes. His family has this message for the community, as the pandemic continues “Remember those first responders the people that come to the house when something happens. It’s a sacrifice for them to and a sacrifice for their families as well.”

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The ceremony is open to family of the fallen. The public can view a live stream on May 7.

Rachael Cardin