The White Rock Fire Department experienced a devastating blow last week with the death of a volunteer training officer.
Gene Grainger, 63, of Bentonville, Ark., died Sunday, Jan. 27, at home from complications after a heart attack. The volunteer who had an extensive career in emergency medicine was an active trainer with the White Rock Fire Department.
Grainger approached the department about joining the department and assisting fellow firemen, said White Rock Fire Chief Joe Lahr.
"He found us," Lahr said. Grainger attended a department fundraiser at Mustang Alley and expressed his interest in volunteering.
"We were impressed with his background," Lahr said.
Grainger had attended Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, while training as a fireman and then a paramedic.
He had worked in emergency medicine for more than 30 years in several cities, including Kansas City.
Last fall, Grainger began to implement training for the department, Lahr said, and led classroom training for the volunteer firemen. He also was knowledgeable about which fire training schools to send volunteers to, he said.
"He was quite a man," he said.
Lahr said volunteer fireman Fred Parker, who recently served as assistant fire chief, is trying to secure another training officer.
Parker called Grainger's death "a substantial loss."
"I can only imagine how his family is handling it," he said. "And my prayers are definitely with them."
Parker is now searching for a replacement for the training program but a decision has not yet been made.
"He quickly became a good friend and he will surely be missed," Parker said.General News on 02/07/2019
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