NUTTER FORT, W.Va. — Members of the Nutter Fort Volunteer Fire Department will say goodbye to one of their own this weekend. Funeral services for Michael Garrett, a firefighter and EMT, will be held Saturday.
Garrett died last weekend trying to help four workers involved in the collapse of a cell phone tower in the Clarksburg area. One tower collapsed and brought rescue crews to the scene and the second smaller tower collapsed on them when they arrived. Two of the workers on the tower crew died and two more were seriously injured.
“This is just something there was no training to prevent or even know what was going on,” said Nutter Fort Fire Department Chief Jeremy Haddix. “We train all the time, but this was more of an industrial accident that you just couldn’t prepare for.”
Despite a lack of knowledge on how to tackle a tower rescue, Garrett was leading the way when he died.
“That’s what he’s done his whole life is helped,” said Garrett. “He’s worked multiple ambulance services all over the state. He did what was programmed in his mind and that’s to help somebody. He died a hero trying to help somebody.”
The blow has been devastating to the Nutter Fort department. Garrett was not only an EMT and veteran firefighter, he was also a key instructor on many training exercise and volunteered to teach often. In many cases, Haddix said Garrett would volunteer to help teach individuals one-on-one when their schedule allowed them an opportunity. He also served as treasurer of the fire department and dedicated much of his free time to the firehouse.
“He always had a smile on his face,” said Chief Haddix. “You really couldn’t get him mad, and if you did you couldn’t’ tell it because he was always smiling.”
Visitation services for Haddix will run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at the Davis Funeral Home in Nutter Fort. He’ll be taken to the Nathan Goff Armory in Clarksburg on Saturday morning for a funeral at 11 a.m. with full firefighters honors.