Graham Fire Chief passes over weekend
The city of Graham, Graham Fire Department and Graham Police Department announced the passing of Graham Fire Chief Jerry David Saturday due to post heart attack complications.
According to the post from the three entities, David suffered a heart attack “a couple of weeks ago,” but out of respect to the family the city had not announced his condition. David served the Graham community almost 30 years with the last five as the chief of GFD, according to the post from the entities.
“We are deeply saddened by the fact that a 30-year career firefighter (was lost), the last five years as our fire chief, and so I hope you will keep him in our prayers,” Graham City Manager Brandon Anderson said Tuesday.
Community members and other fire departments paid their respects on the Facebook posts by the entities. Virginia’s House Director Susie Clack spoke on David’s service with the organization which serves to meet the needs of abused, neglected and traumatized children through prevention, advocacy and support programs.
“Godspeed Jerry David - thank you for your kind and generous service through the years. As a past Board officer and Board President of Virginia’s House, humble servant and great friend - you will be missed,” she wrote.
Anderson spoke to the city council during their second budget hearing Tuesday evening and informed them of the chief’s passing. He echoed the reasoning stated in the post and said the city did not wish to release the information out of respect to the family and their struggles.
“Our fire chief about three weeks ago had a heart attack and had dealt with some complications with that and we hadn’t put anything out about it (…),” Anderson said. “Jerry had a lot of complications. He had started an uptick going the right direction and then when they put him back in the hospital he got a couple of infections and lost his battle over the weekend."
According to an August 2015 article from The Graham Leader, David worked with GFD since 1991 when he joined as a volunteer firefighter. In 1995, David was promoted from the volunteer position to a paid position and eventually became assistant chief in 2003.
In August 2015, David was appointed from interim chief to chief of the department. He filled the position previously held by Dennie Covey who said David was the most qualified to take position in May 2015.
Anderson said the city will provide an update in the future about a remembrance service in honor of David which is set to be held in Graham and will allow the public to attend.
Editor’s Note: A remembrance service is set to be held in honor of Graham Fire Chief Jerry David at a later time. As of press time no information was available regarding the service.