COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Today, Columbus mourns the loss of an important but quiet figure. Captain Eugene Hull of the Columbus Department of Fire and EMS passed away this morning after an extended battle against cancer.
Hull served the City of Columbus and taught firefighter recruits for almost 40 years.
“Captain Hull started August 22, 1981. Gene’s been with the department a long time, and has been dealing with cancer for approximately 30 years. He had a real setback with cancer when it got into his shoulder region, his arm, and he had to have his arm amputated,” Fire Chief Ricky Shores said.
“He was able to heal from that and we found a way for him to still serve in the department as a training officer, and he was promoted to lieutenant in 2006. He served as a training coordinator for the cadet classes. Gene was an exceptional person, he fought for a long time when others would give up. He had the type of strength to battle and never give up,” Shores said.
Hull passed away this morning at Columbus Hospice. He served the Fire Department for 38 years.
Hull played an integral part in raising awareness for cancer, according to Shores, and helped save members of the fire department by teaching them not only how to work but also about cancer causing agents that they encounter every day.
“He was heavily involved in the cancer walk and was a great training officer. Gene stayed and served the department, served the city well. He was tremendously respected in this entire region,” Shores said.
The Captain played a large role with the West Georgia Cancer Coalition and helped start the program with the Fire Department that sells pink t-shirts as a cancer fundraiser.
News 3’s Bob Jeswald was a longtime friend of Capt. Hull.
“Gene always took the time to help others. In fact, he never once ever talked about his illness as being an excuse to not be able to serve. He always made sure to take care of others, and it was an honor to be asked by Gene to serve as the emcee for the annual Columbus Fire and EMS MDA 5K Walk,” Jeswald said. “When he asked, I could never say no.”
A memorial service is being planned for Capt. Hull, set for Tuesday morning at Cascade Hills Church. It will be held at 11:00 a.m.
“He’ll be sorely missed and not easily replaced,” Shores said.
A moment of silence will also be held during the Oct. 18 Paint the Town Pink event at Woodruff Park in honor of Capt. Hull.