Louis Pettigrew remembered by Concord Rescue Squad

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CONCORD (WSLS 10) - People in the Town of Concord are remembering 68-year-old Louis Pettigrew, a long-time member of the volunteer rescue squad there.

Pettigrew was pronounced dead Wednesday after falling 18 feet from a forklift while working on a light.

Pettigrew served the rescue squad in Concord for 28 years.

Long enough for members to name him President Emeritus.

"We miss him, we miss him a lot. The whole community misses him," said Pettigrew's long-time friend Clyde Porter.

Porter and Pettigrew were part of Mount Peeler Church in Concord.

Porter recounted the surprise of learning about his friend's death.

"I know that it happened, but it seems like there's still that disbelief," said Porter.

Just down the road at the rescue squad, President Bruce Stratton has set up a memorial to Pettigrew.

He says in the years he worked there, there wasn't a job Pettigrew wouldn't do.

"He's just left a big void. A big void with his family and a big void with his church and the community too. So, as far as having an answer as to what we're going to do, I don't know," said Stratton.

That big void includes Pettigrew's wife and five children he's leaving behind.

Stratton says, they're pillars of the community.

"There are certain families in certain homes  around in the community that are the go to if somebody needs some advice. Louis's family was that," said Stratton.

Porter says if there's one thing he hopes people remember, it's how helpful Pettigrew was for everyone.

He recounts a time when a hired contractor at his home needed help installing a fan.

"I called Louis, and he, I thought they were going to talk and get it right. Louis told the guy I'll be there in about 10 minutes. He showed up and he got it right. That's just the way he was," said Porter.

Stratton says he's glad he was able to honor Pettigrew with the Emeritus award in life, because he says no one deserved it more.

"To do it for 20 years takes somebody right special... in our opinion, we'll never have a president that can do like that again," said Stratton.

An autopsy of Pettigrew's body is currently being performed by the medical examiner in Roanoke, and a memorial service and funeral are being organized by his family.

A date for that has not yet been set.