MEMPHIS, Tenn.— Wednesday night’s horrific crash that killed Memphis Firefighter David Pleasant and injured three other firefighters, is a stark reminder of how dangerous it can be for first responders trying to get to the scene of an emergency as fast and as safely as possible.
One former firefighter who worked with Pleasant said his professionalism will never be forgotten.
Firefighters like retired Memphis Fire Chief Henry Posey refer to David Pleasant, who died Wednesday night while driving Ladder Truck 5, as a “truck man.”
“Knew him quite well. He was a great firefighter and was an even greater truck man,” Posey said. “And to be on a truck and do the things trucks have to do, those duties, he was very good at it and took it very seriously and very passionate.”
Posey, who will soon retire as the Chief of the Atoka Fire Department, spent 36 years on the MFD. 18 of those years he was assigned to Truck 5, just like David Pleasant.
Posey Rose through the ranks to Division Chief in Memphis and recalls making many runs through the same intersection where Pleasant was killed. He also recalls many “close calls” with drivers not paying attention and nearly causing a crash.
“Obviously getting there is the big part of the equation. If you can’t get there then you can’t make a difference in what the situation may involve,” Posey said.
Posey said many firefighters in Atoka had worked in Memphis and Thursday the flag outside Atoka’s station was at half staff in Pleasant’s honor.
He’s certain Pleasant’s name will be added to the memorial wall at the Memphis Fire Museum along with other fallen comrades killed in building collapses and vehicle crashes.
Pleasant and other members of Truck 5 were well known at the Fire Museum where they frequently volunteered to restore exhibits.
The museum released the following statement in regards to the tragedy:
The Fire Museum of Memphis houses the Firefighter Memorial Wall for the City of Memphis Fire Services. Currently, there are 55 names of Memphis Firefighters that have died in the line of duty listed on the wall. Their deaths, while tragic, are a daily reminder how dangerous the work performed by these brave men and women can become. The firefighters listed on the wall have died because of a wide variety of accidents that have happened on the job. From a vehicle crash to a building collapse to catching COVID from a patient during the recent pandemic, all those listed on the wall gave their lives so that others might live. All those listed are truly heroes turned angels.
Driver David Pleasant was not only a Memphis Firefighter but a supporter of the museum. Very often he and his fellow firefighters on Truck 5 would come to the museum to help with exhibits and assist our curator in his historical endeavors. Driver Pleasant always had a smile and a kind word for the staff here. He will desperately be missed by all the Fire Museum Family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to our brothers and sisters on the Memphis Fire Department and to the family of this brave firefighter.
Yesterday, Memphis not only lost a father, husband, son but a true hero. Rest In Peace Driver David Pleasant.Memphis Fire Museum
We reached out to the Memphis Fire Department for available numbers on the number of firefighters and EMTs killed in crashes either responding to or leaving an emergency call. We have not received a response to our request.