CLAYTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- A fallen firefighter's commitment to service lives on.
Jason Dean was deputy chief in the Clayton Fire Department until his death last September from COVID-19.
On what would have been his 43rd birthday, Dean's widow Kristy and the entire department organized an event at Clayton High School to help the hungry.
Organizers boxed 15,000 meals in partnership with Rise Against Hunger as a part of "Jason Dean Day of Service."
Dean was one of 17 firefighters in the department to battle the virus.
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He was honored last fall with the sounding of an old fire siren and then a parade of trucks and ladders along a 13-mile procession in town.
Dean is credited with changing the way Clayton firefighters did their jobs. He went all around the country for training and helped pave the way for a ladder truck, which was delivered the same week he passed away.