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Community supporting hospitalized Florence Firefighter

FLORENCE, Ala. - A fireman in the Shoals is in the fight of his life this evening, and the community is right behind him.

For six grueling days, Florence Firefighter Kevin Darby has been hospitalized, and now he is in a medically induced coma at UAB.

Tuesday morning would have been Darby’s normal time to report for duty as a firefighter. Instead, his turn-outs remain stowed away.

Daniel Thompson, Professional Florence Firefighter Local 270

Daniel Thompson, Professional Florence Firefighter Local 270

“It’s been a lot of ups and downs for them. There’s a lot going on,” explained Daniel Thompson, a driver for Florence Fire and Rescue.

Thompson is also president of the Florence Fire Fighters Local 270. They have been sharing updates on their brother.

Originally diagnosed with the flu, Thompson said Darby has double pneumonia, flu and strep. Darby was transferred to UAB Hospital when his condition started worsening.

“We live together a third of our lives; we’re here for 24-hours and then we are off for 48, so we are very much like a family. It is hard to see one of your men like that,” said Thompson.

So fire fighters have started a GoFundMe account to help the Darby family. Thompson said it will be a long road of recovery for Kevin, and they want to do everything they can to help.

At last report, Kevin Darby had been moved to a regular hospital bed but remained on a ventilator.