Hall County firefighters stood on Interstate 985 overpasses Friday afternoon as the last of three injured coworkers came home. At Friendship Road, five Station 8 firefighters saluted as the small northbound caravan carrying Will Griffin passed underneath about 3 p.m.Griffin was training July 22 in an aerial ladder bucket with fellow firefighters T.J. Elliott and Stephen Jackson when the truck’s ladder malfunctioned, falling an estimated 44 feet and sending the three to hospitals. Griffin, 24, has been recuperating at Shepherd Spinal Center’s spinal cord injury unit in Atlanta and will continue rehab as an outpatient, according to the center. He lives in Tiger in Rabun County. “Hall County is happy to have these firefighters back home,” county spokeswoman Katie Crumley said Friday.
“They and their families are in our thoughts and prayers as they continue their recovery.” Fire Services will be raising funds for the three firefighters’ travel and other expenses today and Sunday at Laurel Summer Fest in Laurel Park, Crumley said. There will be a raffle held and T-shirts with “Hall County Strong” and the firefighters’ photos will sell for $20 under the Hall County tent at the Fire Services booth. Hall County Fire Services will hold a cookout 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Lowe’s of Gainesville, 1514 Skelton Road, to benefit the firefighters’ relief fund. Hamburger and hotdog plates will be sold for $5.