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Thread: Georgia Firefighter, a 'Fireman's Fireman'

  1. #1
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    Georgia Firefighter, a 'Fireman's Fireman'

    Georgia Firefighter, a 'Fireman's Fireman'

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Bill Craddock died from doing what he loved most: fighting a fire.

    Mr. Craddock, a rescue specialist with the DeKalb County Fire and Rescue Department, had a heart attack May 4 while fighting a house fire in south DeKalb County. Two strokes followed, and he died Tuesday at Emory University Hospital.

    "Bill was what every fireman aspires to be --- what we call a jake, a fireman's fireman," said Christopher W. Holcombe of Buford, a firefighter who worked with him at DeKalb County Fire Station 24.

    "Every time the fire department asked for volunteers, Bill was out in front. He not only was a dedicated fireman but an instructor on the local, state and national level known throughout the country for his teaching of technical rescue and firefighter survival. When they teach us to be firemen, they teach us to put fires out. But things can go bad in a fire. Bill taught the best way to save ourselves in emergencies and get other firefighters out."

    As a rescue specialist, Mr. Craddock could do it all, said Mr. Holcombe. He was adept at high angle rope rescue from tall buildings, confined space rescue from places like sewer pipes, trench rescue from construction sites, scuba diving rescue, swift water rescue and extrication from vehicles. "Firefighting was Bill's passion," said his wife, Shainti Craddock of Jasper. "He called it his first love."

    The funeral for William Leroy Craddock II, 37, of Jasper, is 2 p.m. Saturday at First Redeemer Church in Cumming. McDonald & Son Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

    The Florida native served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps as a helicopter mechanic, Mr. Holcombe said. After moving to metro Atlanta in 1996, he worked as a car mechanic and began volunteering with the Hickory Flat Volunteer Fire Department in Cherokee County.

    In 1997 Mr. Craddock joined the DeKalb fire department and soon was going through the arduous training to become a rescue specialist. Besides his extensive teaching, Mr. Craddock worked part-time for the Forsyth County Fire Department and was an assistant chief with the Bethany-Salem Volunteer Fire Department Station 8 in Jasper.

    To help unite Georgia firefighters, Mr. Craddock joined with several other firefighters in 2001 to establish the fraternity Georgia FOOLS, a branch of FOOLS International. FOOLS stands for Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society.

    "It is an organization that promotes brotherhood and the traditions and lifestyle of firefighters," Mr. Holcombe said. A major part of the Georgia FOOLS agenda is teaching firemen across the state how to save people and get out safely, Mr. Holcombe added. The program has grown to numerous chapters, said co-founder Brian Gary of Forsyth County, a lieutenant with the Forsyth County Fire Department.

    For fun, Mr. Craddock rode bulls in rodeos, went horseback riding with his wife and played hide-and-seek with his 4-year-old son Colby Craddock, who loved to come to his father's fire stations.

    A fund for Mr. Craddock's widow and son has been set up by the DeKalb County Fire and Rescue Department. Donations to the William L. Craddock Fund can be made at any Bank of America branch. Other survivors include his mother, Gail Schueren, and his stepfather, Bob Schueren, both of Epworth.

  2. #2
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    Craddock, William L.

    Age: 37
    Cause of Death: Stress/Overexertion
    Rank: Firefighter III
    Nature of Death: Heart Attack
    Classification: Career
    Emergency Duty: Yes

    Incident Date: 05/04/2006
    Duty Type: On-Scene Fire
    Incident Time: 01:30
    Activity Type: Advance Hose Lines/Fire Attack (includes Wildland)
    Death Date: 06/13/2006
    Fixed Prop. Use: Residential

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Dekalb County Fire Rescue Department
    3630 Camp Circle
    Decatur , Georgia 30032
    Chief: David Foster

    Initial Summary:
    Firefighter Craddock was performing interior fire attack at a heavily involved residential structure fire when he exited the building and complained of not feeling well. Care was initiated on scene and he was transported to the local care facility. It was there that it was determined that he was suffering a major heart attack and he was transferred to a cardiac care facility. He remained hospitalized there until his death.
    Memorial Fund Info:


  3. #3
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    Funeral Set for Georgia Firefighter

    Updated: 06-15-2006 10:31:32 AM News

    Funeral services for DeKalb County Firefighter III William L. (Bill) Craddock will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 17 the First Reedemer Church on 2135 Old Alpheretta Road in Cumming.

    Family visitation and viewing will be held on Thursday June 15 at McDonald and Son Funeral Home in Cumming from 4- 9 p.m. On Friday, June 16, a viewing will be held at Avondale Baptist Church on Covington Highway in Avondale Estates from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Another family visitation and viewing will be held Friday from 4-9 p.m at the funeral home.

    Interment will be in Forrest Lawn Memorial Park in College Park following the service on Saturday.

    Donations for the family are still being accepted at any Bank of America Bank under the account name of William L. Craddock Fund. If you have any questions please direct them to the Office of the Operations Officer, Operations Division, DeKalb Fire Rescue at 404-294-2251.

    Craddock, 36, stricken with a heart attack in May died Tuesday night at Emory University Hospital.

    "There was very heavy fire. He came out, saying he didn't feel well. We initially thought it was heat-related. He had been inside, and fire conditions were bad." Capt. Eric Jackson said just after the incident.

    But, Craddock's condition continued to deteroriate as he was transported to the hospital. Once there, tests showed he was having a massive heart attack, Jackson said.

    Realizing he needed the care of coronary specialists, Craddock was transported to Emory by ambulance. A cardiologist and a nurse accompanied him during the transfer.

    Jackson said Craddock was well-liked, and a dedicated firefighter for the past nine years.

    "He was an instructor for other departments as well as for us," Jackson said Wednesday afternoon.

    Although he was with Engine 20 the night of the incident, he was usually assigned to Station 24, a technical and heavy rescue house.

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