Clayton Fire Chief Dies After Tragic Accident On Monday

The Clayton Fire Company regrets to announce the passing of Fire Chief John M. Pridemore. Chief Pridemore was injured in a fall at the station on March 7, 2022 while conducting station clean up duties. Chief Pridemore died on March 8, 2022 at the Christiana Hospital.

Chief Pridemore joined the Clayton Fire Company in January 1991 as a regular member “stating he wanted to serve the community he lived in”. Chief Pridemore Served the Clayton Fire Company in many offices, the most recent as fire chief from 2021 to the present. Chief Pridemore served as vice president of the fire company in 2008 and 2012 and served as president from 2009-2011, he also served as company secretary in 2007. Chief Pridemore served as a fire lieutenant in 2013 and 2014, fire captain in 2015 and 2017, 1st Assistant Chief 2016 and 2018. In 2019 and 2020 he served as Deputy Chief and was elected chief in 2021.

Chief Pridemore’s service extended beyond his community, he served as the president of the Kent County Volunteer Firefighter’s Association in 2013 and Chief Pridemore served his county in the Delaware National Guard as a military police officer. Chief Pridemore was a third-degree mason with the Smyrna Lodge.

Chief Pridemore is survived by his wife Kimberly, his daughter Amanda and her significant other Jorden, and son Michael, and his granddaughter Sadie. Chief Pridemore was currently employed by the Town of Clayton as the Town Manager.

The Clayton Fire Company has been placed out of service until the services have been completed and the fire district will be covered by fire companies in Delaware and Maryland giving the Clayton members time to decompress and prepare for the services. The members of the Clayton Fire Company would like to take every company who has reached out to offer their services.
Details of his services at this time are not complete and will be sent once confirmed.

The family request any donations be made to the Clayton Fire Company PO Box 1050 Clayton, DE in Chief Pridemore’s memory.


On Monday, March 7, 2022, at approximately 1840 hrs a member was using a scissor lift to clean the upper portion of the north engine bay windows. The member was injured when the bay door was opened hitting the scissor lift and knocking the lift over causing the members to fall 25 feet striking his head on the bumper of a piece of apparatus.
Due to the work detail several of the companies members who are also EMT’s immediately rendered aid to the injured member. The Kent County Department of Public Safety Paramedics as well as two ambulances from the American Legion Ambulance arrived and also rendered care. The member was transported to Christiana Trauma Center via Trooper 4 with head injuries.

Source:  Clayton Fire Company

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