As the community mourns the death of Richard Rehm, a local firefighter who died Dec. 24 on his way to an emergency call, first-responders look back on the county’s public servants who died in the line of duty.
» Hancock County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Malcolm Grass, 43, was shot and killed in a police standoff on May 8, 1986. He and other officers were called to the scene of a local gas station where a man was spotted with a gun. The suspect opened fire on the first-responders, striking and killing Grass. Grass was a 14-year member of the sheriff’s department and had served two terms as sheriff before his death.Roy Stephenson» Green Township volunteer firefighter Roy Stephenson, 42, died Oct. 13, 1994, after suffering a heart attack while on the scene of a fire. A 14-year member of the Green Township Fire Department, Stephenson had been operating a pumper truck at a house fire in Eden when he died.
» Indiana Department of Natural Resources Sgt. Karl Kelley, 56, died on April 17, 1998, from injuries he’d suffered while trying to save fellow officers during a water-training exercise. The boats Kelley and other officers were using capsized in rough waves in the White River on April 15, 1998. When two officers fell from their boat into the river, Kelley attempted to rescue them but was swept from his own boat. He was underwater for more than 15 minutes. He was taken to a Louisville Hospital where he died two days after the accident.
» Hancock County Sheriff’s deputy Dannie Garrison, 51, suffered a heart attack while on duty and crashed his police cruiser on New Year’s Day, 2000, the start of his 16th year of working for the department. His patrol car ran off the road, striking a tree. Before becoming a deputy for the sheriff’s department, Garrison had served as a marine in Vietnam and an officer for the Cumberland Police Department and Marion County Sheriff’s Department.
» Greenfield Police Department Patrolman Will Phillips, 32, died in a hit-and-run accident in Henry County while cycling with fellow officers on Sept. 30, 2010. He was a member of the department’s bicycle patrol team. Phillips, a Marine Corps veteran, had served with the Greenfield Police Department for more than four years and had previously worked for the McCordsville Police Department.
» McCordsville Fire Department firefighter Richard Rehm, 55, died on Christmas Eve, 2016, as he was responding to a call about a fire alarm going off in a nearby home. Rehm’s car was struck by an oncoming train after it became stuck on a set of tracks on the northwest side of the county. Rehm was a 16-year member of the fire department, having joined its ranks when he was 18 years old.