Standing in a third-floor window, looking out over nine firefighters holding a “life net,” David Creasy put one foot into the open air and kept on walking.
Usually the lightest firefighter in whatever company he was in, Creasy was often tasked with climbing to a second- or third-story window so his colleagues could practice catching him in a life net, a 9-foot-wide trampoline-like device held by nine firefighters. The nets are no longer in use.
“I got a lot of experience jumping out of windows,” says Creasy, a retired senior battalion chief with Chesterfield Fire and EMS and current fire marshal for Richmond.
Creasy might have once filled his time by jumping out of perfectly good buildings, but for the past few years he’s been working to put together the Chesterfield County Fire Museum, which saw its grand unveiling last week at Fire Station 12 in Ettrick. The museum tells the story of firefighting in the county from its rural beginnings through the introduction of career firefighters to its once all-volunteer force.
Visitors to the museum read about the county’s volunteer fire stations. Ash Daniel/Chesterfield Observer
Standing among the museum’s helmets, photos, patches, gear and other ephemera, Creasy seems very much at home with his handlebar moustache and fire marshal uniform.
“I’m a packrat, so I’ve been collecting things since the early ’90s,” says Creasy, who began volunteering with the county while in high school. He joined Richmond’s fire department in 1971 before transferring back to Chesterfield three years later. Since 2008, he’s served as Richmond’s fire marshal and published the book “Chesterfield Fire Department: The Original Thirteen Departments.”
Growing up, Creasy looked up to his firefighter uncle, and it didn’t seem like a Christmas went by where he didn’t receive a toy fire truck. Today, Creasy’s cousin and his cousin’s two sons are firefighters.
“Our family has 75 years working in the firefighting business,” he says. “I guess it’s in the bloodline somewhere.”