Beloved retired fire marshal in Richmond dies of cancer

David Creasy spent most of his life as a firefighter.
David Creasy spent most of his life as a firefighter.
Published: Oct. 17, 2018 at 3:51 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - After a long battle with cancer, former Richmond Fire Marshal David Creasy has died.

Creasy dedicated 50 years of his life to firefighting and earlier this year had advocated for a General Assembly bill to expand Virginia worker’s compensation for firefighters battling cancer.

“It is with sadness we acknowledge the passing of former Fire Marshal and Battalion Chief David Creasy,” the Richmond Fire Department said in a statement Monday afternoon. “Battalion Chief David Creasy served in several positions during his extensive career dedicated to fire services.”

The news came on the very day many firefighters prepared to pay their respects at the visitation for a different firefighter - Lt. Brad Clark who died last week in the line of duty. Now, another firefighter - who dedicated five decades of service succumbs to cancer.

"A firefighter’s firefighter. He was always there,” Keith Andes of the Richmond Firefighter’s Association.

To most, he was Chief David Creasy. To those closest to him, he was simply “Chico”.

“I texted his wife this morning; she texted me of his passing. I sent a message to her. It was heartfelt,” Andes added.


  • Sunday, Oct. 21: Visitation is from noon to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.  at  Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service, 6500 Iron Bridge Road
  • Monday, Oct. 22: Funeral is at 11 a.m. at Victory Tabernacle Church of God, 11700 Genito Road

The retired Richmond Fire Marshal meant so much to so many, especially in recent years after he publicly shared his health condition.

“I walked into headquarters a few years ago and he came up to me with tears in his eyes and he said ‘Keith, I have Cancer’,” Andes added.

One issue Creasy was passionate about is educating firefighters on the health risks that come with the job and making sure lawmakers knew it too.

"Every message that came out of his mouth was about Cancer and how can we work at driving that rate down at the fire service…Cancer and what we do on the job sometimes or another, we may take it home in gear or clothing,” Andes said.

Now he is on a mission to keep the message going.

"I promised him. I looked him in the eye and I said 'Chief , I am going to carry this banner’…What we’re trying to do is get more of these Cancers covered. His was a stomach cancer. Health insurance only covers a certain amount. Then at the end of the month, these drugs and shots and things he was in need of, that's all out of pocket expense…The {insurance} we had with the city of Richmond covered some {but} didn't cover others,” he continued.

Andes says spreading the word is the least he can do for a man who devoted his life to serving.

"We truly loved Chief David Creasy, what he represented,” he said.

David Creasy died after a long battle with cancer.
David Creasy died after a long battle with cancer.

Creasy first served as a volunteer firefighter in Chesterfield in 1967 and began a full-time job with Richmond in 1971.

“I don’t regret a thing," Creasy said in January.

He returned to Chesterfield in 1974 until he retired in 2001, then returned to the city of Richmond as the fire marshal in 2008, the Richmond Fire Department said.

Last month, the Facebook page Team Chico said Creasy’s health was declining.

“Chief Creasy’s legacy is defined by his selfless nature and sincere desire to serve the needs of others. He was a champion of cancer awareness for fire service professionals and often spoke at conferences on the topic," the Richmond Fire Department said. “David Creasy will be missed. Words cannot express our sadness at David’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him."

The Chesterfield Fire Department posted on Facebook that Creasy “fought the good fight and we are all proud to call him brother.”

From Fire Chief Edward L. Senter, Jr., Good afternoon: I regret to inform you that retired Battalion Chief/Fire...

Posted by Chesterfield County Fire and EMS on Monday, October 15, 2018

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