City, Fire Department mourn death of longtime firefighter Dave Studer

Dave Studer served with the City for almost 25 years. Photo used courtesy of Katie Woodring.

COVINGTON, Ky. – Covington firefighter Dave Studer will be remembered for his banter, his joking, his playful kidding of fellow firefighters – a big personality that helped make a stressful job easier to bear.

“He was a jokester and just had a funny way about him,” Chief Mark Pierce said. “Everybody got along with him, everybody liked him, and everybody liked working with him.”

Studer died this morning after a short illness.

Studer was hired at the Fire Department on May 12, 1997, making him No. 3 in seniority in Covington, Pierce said. His father and brother were also firefighters.

Within the Fire Department, Studer held the rank of engineer and specifically was the “tillerman” on the third shift at Co. 1 downtown. Like most firefighters, his work and commitment to helping the public were indelibly linked to fire scenes throughout the years, including – as Pierce remembered it – a fatal Russell Street fire in which Studer was on a ladder and on his way into the burning building for a rescue when the fire “flashed.”

Pierce said Studer was in the hospital for about three weeks being treated for COVID-19. (He also said there were no other exposures to firefighters connected to Studer’s diagnosis.)

Studer was scheduled to retire in July.

“He leaves a void in the Department that we’ll never be able to fill,” Pierce said. “He was one of a kind.”

City Manager Ken Smith said Studer would be missed.

“Covington residents are fortunate to have a Fire Department full of men and women committed to protecting the public, no matter what it takes, and with his decades of dedication, Dave certainly exemplified that culture of service,” Smith said.

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