An accident involving a mortar injured a member of the crew shooting off the fireworks Tuesday night in Cumming, authorities said.
According to Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers, Rick Crumley was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta “with traumatic injuries, but he was stable and alert and oriented.”
“One of the mortars injured him,” Shivers said. “(Firefighters) were already there because we had a brush truck assigned to the fireworks detail ... so he did receive immediate attention as soon as the accident happened.”
Details on the incident involving the mortar, as well as what might have caused it and whether it exploded, were few on Thursday.
Dave Horton, director of the Cumming Fairgrounds, which plays host to the annual fireworks show, said the accident happened during the finale when “you’ve got a lot of shots going off at rapid succession.”
According to Horton, Crumley is a hired contractor with Pyrotechnico, the company the city contracts with to put on the show.
“That (company) has been doing our show as long as I can remember ... since at least ’95,” he said. “You’re dealing with explosives, so there’s always an inherent danger.”
According to Shivers, Crumley is a former longtime volunteer firefighter with the local department.
His condition could not be determined.
Fire Battalion Chief Tony Chapman said he has known Crumley, who left the department in 2002, for more than 20 years.
“In the time with the Forsyth County Fire Department, he was a great firefighter and a great friend,” Chapman said. “We all wish him the best in his recovery.”