GREENFIELD — As the community mourns the death of Lt. Scott Compton, a Greenfield firefighter who died Nov. 11 after spending hours battling a large business fire, first-responders look back on the county’s public servants who died in the line of duty, giving their lives to keep their communities safe.
» Hancock County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Malcolm Grass, 43, was shot and killed on May 8, 1986, while making an arrest in an extortion case. He and other officers were called to a local gas station after one of the suspects was spotted there. The suspect was still there when they arrived, had a gun and opened fire. Grass was struck in the head. He was a 14-year member of the sheriff’s department and had served two terms as sheriff before his death.
» 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, drowned on April 17, 1998, while trying to save fellow officers during a water-training exercise. The boats Kelley and other officers were using capsized in rough waves on 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 in the U.S. Marine Corps 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. The woman who struck Phillips ultimately turned herself in and was convicted on related charges. Phillips, a member of the department’s bicycle patrol team, was a Marine Corps veteran and had served with the Greenfield Police Department for more than four years. He previously had 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 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.
Scott A. Compton
» Greenfield Fire Territory firefighter Lt. Scott Compton died Nov. 11 after suffering an apparent heart attack in his home hours after leaving the scene of a fire that devastated four local businesses. Compton was a 17-year veteran of the department, working as a part-time firefighter. Because his death occurred within 48 hours of fighting a fire, Compton’s is considered a line-of-duty death — the first in the Greenfield Fire Territory’s history.