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In a career dedicated to public service, Putnam County Fire Marshal Joe Guidry was planning a leisurely life to begin next year with his retirement. On Friday afternoon, Guidry passed away at Shands at the University of Florida, surrounded by family and friends.

Guidry spent his final days fighting for his life after a deed for a neighbor turned tragic.

The 54-year-old fire marshal, an organ donor, died from complications of a snakebite wound after lapsing into unconsciousness early Friday morning.

Putnam County Director of Emergency Services Doug Stewart said Guidry was at home last Saturday when he was called from his house by a neighbor who had spotted a rattlesnake.

“A neighbor was mowing the lawn, saw the rattlesnake and summoned Joe to help,” Stewart said.

“That was the type of guy he was, he’d give you the shirt off his back,” Sheriff Dean Kelly said Friday at the ICU unit at Shands.

Guidry shot at the snake in an attempt to kill it, Stewart said.

“The snake went under a shed. When Joe tried to retrieve the snake, he was bit on the hand,” Stewart said.

The venom from the snake was injected directly into a vein, Stewart said. Guidry’s son, who was home at the time, called 9-1-1.

According to Kelly, who spoke with Guidry earlier in the week, the fire marshal could taste the poison on his lips, “that’s how fast it traveled.”

“From the time he went from the yard to the house, he already had hallucinations,” Stewart said.

Stewart said Guidry received almost the maximum amount of anti-venom an adult can receive. Eighteen vials of anti-venom is the highest dosage for an adult, with five vials being the average administered for a rattlesnake bite. The sheriff said Guidry received four vials at Putnam County, a move doctors said initially saved his life Saturday.

Guidry was transported to Putnam Community Medical Center’s helipad by ambulance and then flown to Shands at the University of Florida by ShandsCair.

At the time of the flight, Stewart said Guidry was conscious and alert, but complaining of chest pain.

Kelly, who has spent the week at the fire marshal’s bedside, said Guidry remained talkative throughout the early part of the week with discussion of his return home on Wednesday. Friends and family members said Guidry’s condition deteriorated Thursday as his brain continued to swell from the venom.

Friday morning, while on a ventilator, Guidry was surrounded by family, friends and co-workers with whom he had spent his 12-year Putnam County career.

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fatburg said:
:disapp: Oh brother, haha that's bad coincidence there. :lol:
Not really a coincidence sense Goggle uses the word on the page you are viewing to generate adds. I did find it amusing in such a grim post. :whistle:
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