DEATHS

Fernando “Freddy’’ Figueredo, firefighter and movie-set medic, dies

 

ebrecher@miamiherald.com

Freddy Figueredo liked adventure, so he fought fires on land and sea, and patched up stunt actors on movie sets and television shoots — most recently on Miami-based Burn Notice.

“Freddy was more than a guy who just handed out pills and Band-aids,’’ said Terry Miller, executive producer. “He was a friend and a talented co-worker. He was always there to help out and was very safety conscious, over and above the call of duty.’’

He wasn’t just a crew member, said Miller, “He was a pal.’’

Freddy — born Fernando Figueredo in Havana on April 1, 1952 — died Thursday of colon cancer. The U.S. Navy veteran spent half of his 61 years on the Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue and 20 as a movie medic.

He lived in Palmetto Bay with wife Lisa Coston Figueredo, a fire department dispatch supervisor, and son Cody, a Christopher Columbus High School senior and fellow Miami Heat fanatic.

That he was born on April Fools Day “was appropriate,’’ his wife said. “He was a big jokester. Life of the party...He loved fighting fires — the adrenaline rush, helping people, the camaraderie at the station.’’

When Burn Notice airs for the last time in September, viewers will see this in the credits: “FREDDY FIGUEREDO, 1952-2013. Thanks for taking such good care of us.’’

Matt Nix, the show’s creator, added the tribute during editing for Figueredo, whose credits include Bad Boys II, Big Trouble, CSI Miami, Marley & Me, Speed 2, Reno 911, The Sopranos, and the Aquaman pilot.

Terry Miller said that no one got seriously hurt on Burn Notice, but actor Jeffrey Donovan once cut his arm doing a stunt, “and Freddy was right there. I think he helped sew it up. He was always wanting to check the actors’ blood pressure. He knew instinctively knew how to care for people.’’

“Every job I worked, I took Freddy,’’ said Burn Notice stunt coordinator Artie Malesci, who supervised the show’s car crashes, explosions and boat chases. “He’d handle cuts, bruises, crew members falling off trucks, broken bones,’’ and worked as underwater dive master.

Burn Notice producer E.K. Keratsis said that on the show, where crew members are identified by job, Figueredo was known as “ ‘Freddy Medic,’ simply because ‘Freddy Medic Doctor Therapist Confidante Parenting Advisor Style-Coach and Secret-Keeper’ is way too long to call out over a walkie on set.’’

Figueredo, an EMT firefighter, spent most of his fire-rescue career at Station 3 in Westchester, but the last two that he was able to work in a fire boat.

“That was exactly where he loved to be,’’ said Lisa Figueredo, whom he married in 1987. “He loved the water. He was a diver, a fisherman, a boater.’’

Recently retired firefighter Ralph Gonzalez worked with Figueredo in him in Westchester and as a movie medic. He said his friend drove and operated trucks and fought fires on every shift over the years.

In his prime, he was a rock-solid 200-pounder with “a warrior spirit,’’ Gonzalez said.

“He played a lot of basketball, and he’d hustle the rookies out of all their money’’ because they thought he was too old to beat them.

“Freddy was the guy who gave 100 percent,’’ Gonzalez. “He was the kind of guy you wanted to be around, and he had so much love for his family.’’

In addition to his wife and son, Freddy Figueredo is survived by sisters Maria Dolores Portuondo and Maria Luisa Barrientos, of Miami, brothers Enrique, of Massachusetts, and Xavier, of Islamorada.

A viewing will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday at Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 7377 SW 64th St., South Miami. Mass follows, until 2 p.m., with burial at Miami Memorial Park, 6200 SW 77th Ave., Miami.

Loved ones and colleagues will then gather for a “Celebration of a Beautiful Life” at the Metro Dade I.A.F.F. Local 1403 Union Hall, 8000 NW 21st St.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations Metro Dade Firefighter Charities. Write Firefighter Freddy Figueredo Foundation on the memo line.

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