By Megan Devlin, Richmond News:
As Bob Taylor would later tell his daughter, his first call working for Richmond Fire-Rescue was responding to a fatal, multi-vehicle crash on Westminster Highway.
It was back in the 1970s, and when Taylor got on scene the officer in charge told him to go into the bushes to retrieve one victim’s severed head. New on the job, Taylor put on gloves, readied a plastic bag and moved into the brush to collect it.
Responding to graphic, traumatic calls is part of every firefighter’s job. It takes a toll on anyone, and what makes it worse, said Fire Chief Tim Wilkinson, is the sense of helplessness that despite your best efforts, people still die.
But even though firefighting is a hard job, Taylor was good at it. He was brave, caring and “tough as nails,” his daughter Christy Judd told the Richmond News. He rose through the ranks to become a captain, and in 2004 was named Firefighter of the Year before being named Fire Captain and Crew of the Year in 2005.
“Being a firefighter was in my dad’s blood,” Judd said. “Saving people’s lives was what fed his soul.”
On Oct. 14, Taylor died by suicide. He was 65 and had been retired for about a decade.
Read the full story here.