• Camp set up in memory of fallen Alexander Co. firefighter

    By: Natalie Pasquarella


    ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. - Junior firefighters in Alexander County were in Charlotte Friday training at a special camp that started in memory of a fallen firefighter.
    Volunteer firefighter Caleb Benfield died in a motorcycle accident on his way to the fire department in 2012.
    Caleb's Challenge honors the fallen firefighter by helping local teens give back to the community like he did.
    The junior fighters participated in helicopter training, diving courses and hazardous materials drills.
    Bob Benfield said his son would love seeing the children learn about fighting fires.
    "Keep his legacy alive for his love of juniors, and his love of the fireman and the fire service," Bob Benfield said.
    Caleb Benfield died while on his way to the Bethlehem Fire Department to help kids from a local elementary school learn about fire safety.
    He crashed his motorcycle just yards from the department.
    "He changed a lot of lives when he was alive but as you can see, he's changed lives even now with these guys," Bob Benfield, who is also a firefighter, said.
    Two of Caleb Benfield's siblings are part of the training, as well.
    "We all kind of just followed after him and he set the example for us,” said Joshua Benfield.
    "Seeing him help people and stuff, and have a passion for it. It really inspired me to do the same thing," said Anna Benfield.
    The Benfields hope their camp will help junior firefighters for years to come.
    "I don't think anybody that's gone through the program will ever forget him,” said Bob Benfield.

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