GLADE SPRING, Va. (WJHL) — 20-year-old Abingdon firefighter Cameron Craig was killed Thursday when the vehicle he was riding in went off the road.
Following the crash, members of surrounding agencies reached out and sent their condolences to the Abingdon Fire Department.
Glade Spring Fire Department Assistant Chief Ricky Stumbo said his department feels the loss, even though Craig was not a member of his department.
“Even if you don’t know another department or a member that’s passed or suffering,” Stumbo said. “We suffer together with other departments.”
Stumbo said there were members of his department who knew Craig.
While the loss of Craig has affected the departments, Stumbo said tragedies like this could lead to changes within the department.
“We follow pages and information nationwide on fire department injuries, loss,” Stumbo said. “I’m sure this loss will hit those same pages. There will be a lot of research on what we can do to try and prevent these things in the future.”
The Glade Spring Fire Department has trucks with seatbelts and harnesses. They also have one with a seatbelt sensor. Stumbo said when his department is looking to acquire additional vehicles, they look for equipment that will help them reduce the risk of death or injury in a crash.
“That type of information or systems, depending on the year and model of the vehicle depends on what safety equipment is available,” Stumbo said. “That will definitely go into, as we purchase trucks in the future, what other safety equipment is now available for a new apparatus.”
State police say Craig was wearing a seatbelt when the vehicle crashed.
While the trucks have the safety equipment, Stumbo said he and other members of the department still worry about the safety of those who go out on calls.
“I know the officers here, including myself, worry every time a truck rolls out,” Stumbo said. “I’m either listening or being in contact with a member trying to make sure the response is okay, the scenes are safe, and all the members make it back safe.”
The Glade Spring Fire Department was part of an escort that brought Craig back to his hometown of Saltville.
A vigil is being held Saturday at the Glade Farmers Market from 6-7:30 p.m.