Community stands together after Marion County firefighter injured in training

Firefighter Anthony Gillon’s recovery is expected to take up to six months

OCALA, Fla. – A firefighter with Marion County Fire Rescue is recovering after an incident left him injured during a training exercise.

Marion County Fire Rescue said that Lt. Anthony “Tony” Gillon was injured on the job while training new hire cadets on Nov. 15.

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“During the evolution, it was noticed that he got hurt... The firefighter medics immediately went into care mode,” James Lucas, a spokesperson for the department, said.

It is unclear what happened to cause Gillon’s injury due to the incident still being under investigation. However, Lucas said Gillon suffered a neck injury and had to have some vertebrae fused.

The recovery process is expected to take up to six months.

While Gillon is recovering, Lucas said the community has been showing support.

“We raised $15,000 in less than 24 hours,” Lucas said.

Although the process is set to take several months, Lucas said Gillon is up for the job.

“He’s in good spirits. As I said earlier, he is a United States Marine, he’s hard-headed, he’s bull headed, he doesn’t want to listen to people, he just wants to get his rehab started and get back to the job and to the men and women he loves so dearly,” Lucas said.

Lucas said there has been a steady stream of support from fire officials locally and statewide.

He added that Gillon’s wife is a registered nurse and will be taking time to be by Gillon’s side.

The department said they hope the funds raised so far will help the man whom they call a selfless servant.

“And that’s a small fraction of what it’s going to take to get Anthony back on his feet, but we’re going to do what we can,” Lucas said.

The department is asking for donations that can be sent to their headquarters at 2631 SE 3rd Street in Ocala.

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About the Author:

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.