Sept. 20, 2014
For Immediate Release
By Calen McKinney, Central Kentucky News-Journal
Surrounded by friends and family, Tony Grider took his last breath Saturday afternoon.
Grider’s death comes about a month after he and three other Campbellsville Fire & Rescue firefighters were injured while helping with an ALS ice bucket challenge on the Campbellsville University campus.
|Tony Grider, known for his happy and uplifting spirit, died Saturday
afternoon. Grider and three other Campbellsville Fire & Rescue
firefighters were injured about a month ago when they were helping
with an ALS ice bucket challenge on the Campbellsville University
campus. Above, Grider is shown at last year’s Crusade for Children
collection drive. (CKNJ Photo by Calen McKinney)
Grider, 41, a captain who lived in Columbia, died Saturday at about noon, and his body was to be transported from the University of Louisville burn center to a funeral home in Columbia.
Firefighters and other law enforcement personnel will line I-65 from Louisville to Columbia as Grider’s body is brought to the funeral home. The caravan will leave Louisville at about 4 p.m.
Grider’s friends and family were with him as he died. His family members agreed to take him off the life support machines that were breathing for him.
Funeral details for Grider haven’t yet been announced. That information will be posted as soon as it’s available.
Grider and Firefighter Alex Quinn, 22, were at the burn center receiving treatment since they were injured on Aug. 21.
Quinn was released from the hospital last week and has since returned home.
Firefighter Alex Johnson and Captain Steve Marrs were also injured that day. They were treated and released and have since returned to duty.
The investigation into what happened is continuing.
Preliminary investigation revealed that, as the bucket came close to a power line, it crossed the electric energy threshold and an electric arc was created. The arc struck Grider and Quinn.
Marrs, 37, and Johnson, 28, assumed control of the ladder in an attempt to lower it to the ground. In the process, they received electrical shocks from current traveling down the ladder.
Since the four were injured, the community has banned together to raise money and support Grider and Quinn.
Campbellsville Fire & Rescue Chief Kyle Smith stated in a news release that the firefighters’ families want to thank the community for its support.
“Each card, letter and word of support is encouraging and appreciated. Thank you again to each and every firefighter that has been with the families at that hospital from day one.”
Smith has said firefighters have been at Grider’s and Quinn’s hospital rooms around the clock.
In a news release issued Saturday after Grider’s death, Smith stated that Grider’s family wants to thank those who have been there for them after his injury. They want to thank the firefighters who have been with them at the hospital, as well as the staff of the Supporting Heroes organization.
“Thank you to all of the doctors and nurses at the University of Louisville Hospital who cared for Tony throughout his stay at the hospital,” Smith stated.
“Our fire department family is equally grateful. We thank all of those listed above and also thank the Campbellsville community, Campbellsville University and the fire departments from across the nation that [have] provided support.”
CU President Dr. Michael Carter said, in a statement released after Grider’s death, “On behalf of the Campbellsville University family, we extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family of Captain Tony Grider and to all the City of Campbellsville officials and firefighters in this sad time.
“Captain Grider was a dedicated professional who spent his life in service to others and in protecting our community. May God be with his family, friends and colleagues in this time.”
Cards can be brought to the station or mailed in care of Grider and Quinn to Campbellsville Fire & Rescue, 100 W. Broadway, Campbellsville KY 42718.