A North Carolina fire chief died after suffering a medical emergency while on duty, officials said.
Polly Watson Volunteer Fire Department Chief James Radford died Saturday, Feb. 5, according to a Facebook post from officials in Wayne County, which is about 60 miles southeast of Raleigh.
Officials told local outlets WITN and WNCN that Radford was dispatched just after 1 p.m. to assist with a call. As he arrived at the fire station, he suffered a medical emergency and crashed into a parked vehicle in the lot.
Fire crews at the station “began rendering aid,” officials told WITN, and Radford was taken to a hospital.
He later died “surrounded by his family,” officials told WNCN.
“Today our Chief Monk James V Radford gained his angel wings,” the fire department wrote on Facebook. “Rest easy Chief we got it from here.”
The Wayne County Firefighters’ Association wrote on Facebook that the community is “heartbroken and devastated” by Radford’s death, saying it is keeping “his family, his department, and his community in our thoughts and prayers as they go through this trying time.”
Radford was also a member of the Fremont Volunteer Fire Department, WNCN reported.
“Please keep our member James (Monk) Radford’s family in your thoughts and prayers,” the department posted on Facebook. “Monk gained his angel wings this evening. You will be greatly missed. Rest easy dear friend!”
The Wayne County Firefighters’ Association said it will post details on funeral arrangements when they’re available.
The North Carolina Office of State Fire Marshal and the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation will be notified of Radford’s death to assist his family and department, WITN reported.