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Acting Zoneton chief placed on ventilator while battling COVID-19

Gerry Key is battling the virus nearly one month after the department lost their late Chief Rob Orkies to both cancer and COVID-19.
Credit: Zoneton Fire Protection District
Acting Chief Gerry Key of the Zoneton Fire Protection District

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — One month after their chief passed away from COVID-19, another leader at Zoneton Fire Protection District is fighting for his life against the virus.

Last month, acting Chief Gerry Key took over when Chief Rob Orkies was hospitalized with the virus. Key told WHAS11 News at Orkies December funeral that his death has been extremely hard.

Key has been with the department for more than 35 years and has always had a servant’s heart, working with the Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office and serving in the military before that.

When asked how Key may have contracted the virus, fellow firefighters said it’s possible his may have gotten it while on the job.

"Between some meetings Garry's been at through the fire department, community events that we have done, fire runs that he has made- it is a very, very good chance that's where he got it," Major Kevin Moulton said.

Key has been placed on a ventilator.

Moulton said the department is asking the community for all the prayers they can get.

“He is another huge puzzle piece to our organization that we want to keep there with us.”

If you would like to extend your well wishes to acting Chief Gerry Key, send them to: Zoneton Fire Protection District - 5328 North Preston Highway, Shepherdsville, Kentucky 40165.

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