KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bobby Sperry, chief of the West Peculiar Fire Protection District, said he's been to many firefighter funerals, but it's different when one of his own loses the fight.
“We’re trying to grasp the fact that this happened to us,” Sperry said. “We're a small town department, we're all good buddies.”
Chuck McCormick, 30, died while fighting a house fire on Sunday. He fell through the floor as he went inside the home.
He had only been with West Peculiar for three weeks.
“No matter what job you had for Chuck, Chuck was the guy,” Sperry said. “I didn’t have to worry about complaining, he just went and did it. He just had that really calming, soothing, happy personality.”
McCormick worked at the South Metro Fire Protection District in Raymore for a few years, coming from the Cherokee County Fire Department in Canton, Georgia, where he had worked as a firefighter medic since 2014. He started out his career as an Army medic.
“Chuck was known by everybody just for being someone who always has a positive attitude all the time,” said Jon Montague, a firefighter with Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services. “[It] didn’t matter what the situation was.”
McCormick’s colleagues in Georgia set up a GoFundMe account to help McCormick’s wife, Rachel, and their three boys. As of Monday night, the account had raised nearly all of the $25,000 goal.
“What people are doing is amazing,” Montague said, “just an awesome display of brotherhood and sisterhood and what a great community, what good people are still out there.”