A 40-year veteran of the Statesboro Fire Department lost his battle with leukemia Saturday.
Deputy Fire Chief Ronnie Shaw was re-admitted to the intensive care unit at Augusta University Medical Center last week after spending Christmas at home with his family and friends, said Statesboro Fire Department Lt. Derek Stoddard.
Shaw passed away Saturday after a two-month fight against the disease.
“For almost 40 years, Chief Shaw served in every role within the department, starting as a volunteer firefighter and rising to the rank of deputy fire chief, as well as serving for a period of time as the interim fire chief of the department,” Stoddard said in a statement released Monday. “Ronnie Shaw leaves a strong and lasting legacy within the Statesboro Fire Department and also with the City of Statesboro and Bulloch County communities.”
Upon learning of Shaw’s illness, department employees as well as those from other county agencies banded together to raise funds for the family. Shaw experienced a heart attack and then learned he suffered from leukemia, according to Statesboro Fire Chief Tim Grams in an earlier interview.
In a show of support, Statesboro firefighters and personnel wore orange ribbon pins, the color for the battle against leukemia, on their uniforms. Some firefighters also participated in “Staches for Shaw,” a Fire Department take on law enforcement’s fundraiser, “No-Shave November.” Firefighters grew moustaches and paid a fee to be allowed to do so, and proceeds went to benefit the Shaw family.
The department also held an American Red Cross blood drive and a Boston butt sale and sold orange ribbon T-shirts, with proceeds going to help the Shaw family.
“The department sends our sincerest condolences, thoughts, and prayers to his family and friends during this difficult time,” Stoddard said.
The funeral service for Deputy Fire Chief Shaw was held Tuesday, with interment at Bulloch Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations be made to the Statesboro Fire Department Women’s Auxiliary.