A call went out on the dispatch frequency Wednesday afternoon which said, "It is with deep regret that Crawfordville announces the last and final call for 807 Captain Richard Rhea of the Crawfordville Fire Department."
However, before the final tone was sounded for Captain Rhea--his life and duty as firefighter was honored by communities across the Big Bend. And their respective fire departments joined in a procession that spread the word throughout Crawfordville.
Fran Councill, Director of the Wakulla County Ambulance Service said, "Richard gave his life serving people. Richard bound up our wounds. Richard made us laugh and he was just an extraordinary compassionate man."
Funeral organizers say about 450 people attended the service for Captain Rhea--with hardly enough room at the Crawfordville United Baptist Church. Rhea was killed Saturday when he stumbled on a live power line while working a car accident. Friends and those who worked close with him say he was a great firefighter and always tried to keep safety in mind.
Steven Pigott, Chief of the Medart Volunteer Fire Department said, "He preached that to us all the time. We learned together and say it was quite interesting to be around him. He was sincere and loved what he did."
Following the alert tone put out for Captain Rhea, the final words from dispatch were, "The bell has been struck for his last alarm. May the sun shine up on his past. May the wind always be at his back and may the lord hold him in the palm of his hand until we meet again. Good bye sir."