FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – A longtime fire chief was remembered by hundreds in Franklin County on Wednesday.
V.T. “Slim” Crawford, of Scruggs Fire and Rescue, passed away last week.
For many people Wednesday, it was hard to hold back emotions as they described how much Crawford meant to them. He was chief of the Scruggs Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department for more than 40 years.
“He’s an icon here. Look at the fire station and what he’s done. He and Jane Crawford put us where we are today,” said George Tawes, training officer at Scruggs Fire and Rescue.
A procession of firetrucks went from Westlake Baptist Church to the fire station, where he spent most of his days.
“He encouraged me to serve the public. That’s what Slim did,” said Tawes.
“He’s probably taught me to exist in a different world and do a good job at being a firefighter,” said Melanie Moore, firefighter and wife of the current chief.
Crawford started the Scruggs station with his wife, a captain at the department. He retired in 2014.
“From 1974 up to the time he passed he was up here almost every single day of his life,” said William Hoyt, assistant chief with Scruggs Fire and Rescue.
But it’s the memories outside of work people cherish miss the most.
“An incidence this past Sunday, when we got out of the car for church, he wasn’t in the car next to us. So that’s when I’m going to miss,” said Moore.
As each person spoke at the podium, they shared memories with a standing room only crowd and gave a final salute to his uniform, which was hung on a firetruck.
“I don’t think will ever get over but I think will move on and make him proud,” said Moore.