CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Fire departments from all over the Carolinas have been reaching out to firefighter Christopher Ray's family,
as well as his brothers and sisters within the Conway Fire Department.
They're keeping them both in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time and helping them cope with their loss.
"We are deeply saddened over the loss of one of our own last night, firefighter Christopher Ray," Conway Fire Chief Le Hendrick said in a press conference Monday afternoon.
Hendrick went on to call Ray's death a tragic accident.
From the outpouring of support, it's clear this incident has affected many people near and far.
"Firefighters, EMS, police, it is a very tight knit community," said Mike Medeiros with the Firefighter Assistance and Support Team.
Medeiros and others with FAST are working with the Conway Fire Department and helping them process their pain.
"We're in the type of business where we are out to fix people and help people," Medeiros said. "A lot of times it's hard for us to handle the fact we become a part of the situation, too."
It's an emotion that even grief counselors like Medeiros can hardly put into words.
"Any possibility, anything can happen. But when it actually does happen, there comes that feeling (that is) just overcoming," Medeiros said. "It's really hard to explain. You're just in shock."
In Ray's story, it's shock that they have lost one of their own. Other fire stations across Horry County are pitching in now as the Conway Fire Department mourns. They are taking over shifts so their brothers and sisters in the job can take the time they need to heal.
FAST also responded to a crash involving am ambulance a couple of weeks ago. A paramedic was seriously hurt, and the team helped Florence County EMS through the challenging situation.