San Antonio Fire Chief Remembers Firefighter Killed, Encourages Drivers to Pay Attention to First Responders

click to enlarge SAN ANTONIO FIRE DEPARTMENT
San Antonio Fire Department
The San Antonio Fire Department is mourning the loss of one of its own, but local residents can step up to help.

Greg Garza, a 17-year veteran of the department, was responding to a fire at a downtown hotel Tuesday morning when he was reportedly stumbled or tripped getting off the fire truck and was fatally struck by a passing van. The 49-year-old was transported to Brooke Army Medical Center, but ultimately succumbed to his injuries.

The driver will not face charges, the Express-News reports, since the individual stopped to render aid, stayed at the scene and cooperated with police.

SAFD Chief Charles Hood was emotional while speaking about his friend and colleague, remembering his smile and passion for what he did.

"To have a firefighter killed that stumbled across the street is just a sheer accident, but it validates how dangerous and deadly this job is every single day," Hood told reporters.
He also reminded the public to be cautious of first responders' vehicles to prevent future accidents.

"I think people get immune to fire trucks, police cars and ambulances," Hood said. "This was a reminder for all citizens, please give us space around an accident, please don't look at what we are doing."

Hood also asked that the community pray for the San Antonio Fire Department as well as Garza's family. San Antonians wanting to help the family can do so by donating to the Greg Garza Memorial Account at Generations Federal Credit Union. The family will receive 100% of the donations.

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