October 15, 2019 – In Breaking News – My San Antonio
All that the San Antonio Fire Department asked for were prayers after one of its own died Tuesday after he was hit by a vehicle while working a scene.
Chief Charles Hood at a news conference identified 17-year veteran Greg Garza, 49, as the fallen firefighter, describing him as a gregarious man who always had a smile on his face.
“This just shakes you to the core,” Hood said.
Garza was responding to an electrical fire with Station 1 around 7 a.m. at the downtown Comfort Suites.
(Garza fell from a fire truck and was struck by an oncoming vehicle, San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood said. Courtesy of KENS 5 and YouTube. Posted on Oct 15, 2019.)
When the crews arrived at 505 Live Oak, Hood said it seemed like Garza stumbled or tripped getting off a fire truck and was hit by a passing Culligan Van.
The driver stopped to render aid and stayed on scene to cooperate with police.
Hood said the driver was grief stricken over what happened. At this point, no criminal charges are expected.
The area around the hotel was blocked off for more than two hours as the Traffic Investigation Division, or TID, collected evidence at the scene.
TID collected scattered fire equipment on the ground and a single black boot that sat in the intersection of Live Oak and Dawson Streets as dozens of first responders watched on.
Woody Woodward, a spokesman for SAFD said the firefighter’s crew went to the hospital with him, but additional crews were on scene to pick up the two fire apparatuses.
While paramedics on scene and dozens of medical staff at Brook Army Medical Center worked to save Garza, they were unsuccessful, Hood said.
“His mom told me at the hospital that Greg loved being a firefighter,” Hood said. “So Greg Garza, he’s gone, we lost him today but he died doing something he loved.”
Hood was joined by first responders and officials from across the city at a news conference to talk about San Antonio’s loss.
“Today was a tragic day for our city and one where we need to grow closer and embrace each other and understand the love that is in this city that Greg fought for every single day,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg.
Our hearts break for the loss of Greg Garza, a 17-year veteran of our fire department. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Garza family and our Firefighters today. pic.twitter.com/fkt3ePj2ZM
— Mayor Ron Nirenberg (@Ron_Nirenberg) October 15, 2019
Hood was barely able to hold back tears as he described his firefighter and friend.
“You spend a third to half of your life with your firefighters, you sit at a table with them, talk about your kids, you talk about life, you run calls, you cook, you eat, you build relationships with these folks, so we are devastated,” Hood said.
Hood said the last time he saw Garza was about three weeks ago on the scene of a fire, where Garza came up and gave the chief a big hug.
“Greg was a stunningly tall, muscular man; he was a happy individual,” Hood said.
(Citizen-driven and funded 100 Club of SA is stepping up to help the family of fallen SAFD firefighter Greg Garza, who was killed in the line of duty Tuesday. Courtesy of KSAT 12 and YouTube. Posted on Oct 15, 2019.)
Editor’s note: Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of SAFD Firefighter Garza, and the SAFD. Thank you for your bravery in serving the citizens of San Antonio, with pride and distinction. You will not be forgotten.
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