WOLF CREEK, Ore.– A fallen volunteer firefighter who devoted his life to the industry received a funeral procession and memorial service in honor of his 40 years of service Sunday afternoon.
Over a hundred friends, coworkers and fellow public servants joined together at the Wolf Creek Inn to honor the life of Ray Carrillo.
“There’s not a greater guy that could of got the honor he got today from this Wolf Creek fire department,” said Charlie Bumgardner, a friend.
From a emergency services funeral procession to a memorial service, a moment was set aside for Carrillo, who fell ill while battling a fire. Many shared stories of their time with him and some of their most memorable moments.
“He was a great person, everybody knew it,” said Bumgardner. “And so there was something about when he died on active duty that caused everybody to get together, that knew him and do this for him today – he would have really appreciated what he saw today.”
With 40 years in the service across both Jackson and Josephine County, many like Bumgardner had the pleasure of working and getting to know his life – one Bumgardner says Carrillo devoted him time to 24/7.
While his passing is still a shock to many, friends like Bumgardner say they will be there to pass on his legacy.
“I just hope people realize what firefighters do, especially one like him and there’s a few like him but they’re not all like him,” he said. “He deserved what he got here today.”
The cause of Carrillo’s death is still under investigation. It’s unknown whether his passing was due to him fighting a fire or an underlying illness.
Ray Carrillo passed away at 57 years old.
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.