By Nikki Gaskinsngaskins@abcnews4.com
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) Friends of a North Charleston firefighter injured on the job are talking about the strides their mentor and fellow firefighter is making in his recovery.
Police say Darin Kingery was hit by a drunken driver last month and nearly lost his life. But now it seems he's getting better every day.
"It's just sad that something like this, you know, happened," said John Deboard, a retired North Charleston firefighter who worked for the department for more than 20 years.
During his time with the department, he once worked side by side with Kingery.
"He's just always the type of person that is willing to go above and beyond to just do whatever it takes," Deboard said.
And that's exactly what friends say he was doing in early June, responding to an accident when police say a drunken driver hit him.
"People, man, just don't pay attention," said Deboard.
His friend's road to recovery is a slow one, but they are seeing progress.
"When I talked to Beth Kingery, the other day, Beth is his wife -- he's at Health South right now in rehab. He'll be there for a couple of weeks," said Deboard. "He's doing really good. He's in good spirits. He had an infection in his leg, so they had to amputate below the knee in his right leg."
A former Marine, Kingery is described as a fighter not only in the field but in life.
"He's not going to give up. He's not that kind of firefighter. He's very driven in his service," said Randy Fallaw, a firefighter with the Caromi Volunteer Fire Department.
When Kingery isn't helping others in needs, Fallaw says he worked as an instructor for the South Carolina Fire Academy.
"He's actually the person that got me certified, and I'd say 30 to 40 percent of the firefighters that are volunteers in the area also went through him to get their certification," said Fallaw.
Kingery was dedicated fireman helping his fellow man. And now friends, coworkers and even complete strangers are returning the favor.
On Friday night, Pierpont Pub will host a fundraiser for Darin at 2366 Ashley River Road. There is a requested $5 donation at the door, and this will also cover your meal.
There will also be plenty of entertainment, organizers said.