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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

When a small plane nose-dove into the concrete at Gainesville Regional Airport last March, Gainesville Fire Rescue immediately reported to the scene.

As soon as GFR Lt. Curtis Crawford arrived, he noticed the pilot was trapped under the plane’s wing.

Crawford and his team of firefighters and paramedics cut the man out of the aircraft as toxic fuel covered the ground around them. The pilot lived and continues to fly planes today.

During the GFR Awards and Recognition program Thursday night, Crawford received a Medal of Valor for his actions on that day almost one year ago.

Every year, Gainesville Fire Rescue holds an awards ceremony that honors firefighters, paramedics and fire rescue workers who are recommended by their peers for their gallant work in the community.

“A lot of times the men and women getting recognized don’t understand why they’re getting recognized,” GFR Chief Gene Prince said. “It is their job to answer a call and resuscitate people every day, so they often think, ‘What’s the big deal?’ But these awards are a big deal in our industry. These guys deserve it.”

Contact Adrianna Paidas at

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