Wayne County Fire Chief Dies In The Line Of Duty

Polly Watson Fire Department Facebook Photo
Chief James Radford

WAYNE COUNTY – With profound sadness, the Wayne County Fire Marshall’s Office has announced the line of duty death of Chief James Radford from the Polly Watson Volunteer Fire Department.

Chief Radford was also a volunteer with the Fremont Volunteer Fire Department.

At approximately 1:06PM Saturday, the Polly Watson Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to assist on a call in Wilson County. Chief James Radford responded to the fire station.

As he arrived at the station, he suffered an apparent medical emergency and his vehicle collided with a parked vehicle in the fire station’s parking lot.

Firefighters at the station quickly gained access to Chief Radford’s vehicle and began rendering aid.

Wayne County EMS was dispatched and transported Chief Radford to Wayne UNC Hospital. Chief Radford passed away Saturday evening, surrounded by his family.

The North Carolina Office of State Fire Marshal and the North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation will be notified to assist the family and the department.

Chief Radford, age 63, joined the Fremont Fire Department in 1996 and served as a Lieutenant and Safety Officer. In 2019, he also joined the Polly Watson Fire Department. In 2021, Radford was promoted to Fire Chief of Polly Watson. 

Family and friends sand Radford thoroughly enjoyed serving as Fire Chief over this community and loved the Polly Watson Fire Department. The love for his department was always second to his love for his grandchildren. Members from both departments are shocked his sudden death and appreciate the outpouring of support from Wayne County and counties across the state.

Funeral services are pending and will be released at a later date.


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