Statue unveiled in honor of Campbellsville firefighter Capt. Ton - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Statue unveiled in honor of Campbellsville firefighter Capt. Tony Grider

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CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Six months after a tragic accident took the life a Campbellsville firefighter, a statue is unveiled in his honor.

For 16 years, Captain Tony Grider put his life on the line for his community.

“He certainly did love what he did,” his wife Gena Grider said.

She said battling fires and saving lives was his true calling.

“Tony was just a person that he just loved to help, and anything to do with emergency services,” recalled Brad Shofner.

Seven months ago, Captain Grider was injured while helping Campbellsville University with an Ice Bucket Challenge. On Sept. 20, 2014, he died from his injuries.

“He always knew the risks and challenges and what could happen,” Gena said.

Captain Grider left behind a wife, two sons and three step children. A statue was unveiled in his honor Saturday at Taylor Regional Hospital. It was a fitting place where so many memories were made when he was a paramedic.

“I used to work here for quite some time and this is where I first met Tony,” Gena said.

His two sons, Jacob and Jordan, were also born in that hospital. Captain Grider is forever memorialized with his two boys by his side along with other relics and honors.

“My brother's probably got a big smile on his face right now as he's looking down on all of us and wondering why we made such a big deal over him,” Tammy Grider said.

But for those who love him, it brings comfort to know how many peoples' lives were touched by him.

“I miss seeing his face so bad,” Gena said.

“He would take his shirt off his back to help you,” Shofner said.

Just as the wind lifted balloons in his memory, family members say he always tried to lift the spirits of those around him.

“Everywhere he went, he smiled,” Shofner said.

A smile that he wore proudly, knowing being a firefighter was not a job, but an honor.

Donations along with T-shirt sales in memory of Captain Grider paid for the statue.

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