HINESVILLE, Ga. (Feb. 22, 2018) – City of Hinesville Fire Department (HFD) Captain Earnest “Moe” McDuffie died Tuesday, February 20 while performing fire department mandated physical fitness training.
McDuffie was running at a local park and fell unconscious. CPR was immediately rendered by colleagues until he was transported to Liberty Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead from a nature and cause of fatal injury that is still to be determined.
“Earnest McDuffie was loved by all who knew him,” said City of Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown. “He was always positive, a team player and the epitome of an above superior employee and person. He will be deeply missed and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and his brothers and sisters at the Hinesville Fire Department.”
McDuffie joined the HFD in 2001. He progressed through to the rank of Engineer in 2007. In 2010, he was promoted to Lieutenant/Deputy Fire Marshal and in 2013 was promoted to Captain and became the first African-American Fire Marshal/Chief Fire Investigator.
“I was impressed with Moe from the first time I met him because of his personality,” said HFD Chief Lamar Cook. “He was the same from the first time I spoke to him until the last time I spoke with him because he was just a genuine and great person who put his God first, his family second and his job third. We were also his family. At the fire station, we say that if you want to predict your future, you have to create it. Moe did that with his job and his life. He treated people the way that he wanted to be treated and you can tell that by how everyone feels about him.”
McDuffie was well-known for performing above and beyond his duties. In 2006, he joined Georgia Search and Rescue (GSAR) whose primary mission in the coordination, development and maintenance of the resources to locate, extricate, provide immediate medical treatment to victims trapped in collapsed structures, and to conduct other life-saving operations. During his time with GSAR, he went on multiple deployments, to include the Sugar Refinery Explosion in Port Wentworth in 2008.
McDuffie was named Employee of the Year in 2006 and 2012. In 2010, he became a certified Emergency Medical Technician, a mandated police officer and has also served as an Arson Investigator and the City’s Safety Coordinator for the Local Government Risk Management Services (LGRMS).
McDuffie was a respected member of several prestigious organizations, to include the International Association of Arson Investigators, Georgia Public Safety Fire Investigators Association, Georgia Fire Investigators Association, State Local Fire Marshal and the Georgia State Fire Marshal Association.
“Moe was not only an exceptional employee, but a beyond extraordinary person,” said Hinesville City Manager Kenneth Howard. “Everyone throughout the City of Hinesville is heartbroken by the sudden and tragic loss of an individual who was truly a friend to everyone who knew him. My deepest thoughts and prayers are with his family and we are currently focusing on doing everything we can to help them through this difficult time.”
Funeral services for Earnest "Moe" McDuffie will be held on Monday, Feb. 26 at 11 a.m. at Live Oak Church of God with graveside service at Oglethorpe Memorial Cemetery immediately following. Visitation will take place at Live Oak Church of God prior to funeral services on Monday, Feb. 26 from 10-11 a.m.