CAMILLA, GA (WALB) - A full honor procession was held in Camilla Wednesday morning, as a Mitchell County volunteer firefighter was laid to rest.
Dozens of firefighters, and a long escort of fire trucks, memorialized 20-year-old Matthew Hilliard.
Hilliard was killed in a car crash late Friday night. But on Wednesday he was remembered for his life, and the service he gave his community.
Fire Trucks from several different departments across South Georgia wailed their sirens as they took Hilliard to lay him to rest.
"The fire service as a whole is a brotherhood. No matter where you are from, we all consider ourselves to be family," said County Line Fire Department Firefighter and EMT Lance Butler.
His fellow firefighters said that Hilliard never got paid but had come to them at 16 years old, expressing his dream of being a firefighter. Too young to join the line, but he trained and was certified as soon as he came of age.
"Ever since then he was one of the most dedicated members for us," said Butler. "He went to every call. Every time we called him he was there. He kept our station and equipment clean."
That kind of dedication to serving and protecting his community was the reason so many people from Camilla and Mitchell County stood by the road and honored Hilliard.
Matthew Hilliard was laid to rest on Wednesday, memorialized for his service and commitment by his fellow first responders.
His fellow volunteer firefighters asked people to remember that they stay on call for the same reason that paid departments do, to be ready to save lives and protect their neighbors.