City has to adapt after death of long-time city employee

WYNNE, AR (KAIT) - It was a sad day for Wynne residents as a long-time city employee died Wednesday morning, leaving behind major responsibilities he fulfilled.

According to Mayor Bob Stacy, Captain Fred Heath with the Wynne Fire Department has served as both a full-time firefighter and code enforcement officer for several years.

"He has been a great asset to our city for almost 30 years," said Stacy. "He was a bubbly individual with a great personality who was passionate about this city."

Stacy said Heath worked his normal workdays throughout last week before experiencing medical issues.

"It kind of happened all of a sudden," said Stacy. "We are definitely going to miss him. We depended on him for so much and right now we are seeing just how much we depended on him."

Stacy said Heath will surely be hard to replace especially because of his expertise in certain areas.

"One major responsibility he had," said Stacy. "Like any small town, we have flooding in Wynne and he spent a lot of hours with FEMA learning regulations and trying to find ways to improve flood areas where there is no one in the town or county who knows so much."

Another great asset, Heath dealt with many businesses coming to the area.

"He would work with contractors and let businesses know where they could build their properties," said Stacy. "Now that he is gone, we will have to work to fill his shoes. A business called today asking about their permit estimates and Heath was the one who dealt with that."

Stacy said all around, Heath was a guy who could be counted on.

"If you asked him something, he would answer anything," said Stacy. "It would take about ten minutes but it was okay because you would always leave him with a smile on your face."

Now the fire chief will take over Heath's responsibilities until they can find someone to help out with the load of work.

Visitations for Heath will be held Saturday 6-8 p.m. at the Smith Chapel Baptist Church. Funeral will be held at the same place, Sunday at 2 p.m.

"They will come through Wynne and Forrest City Fire Departments will send their aerial truck and we will use our aerial truck and they will form an arch around the fire department with flags," said Stacy. "The Palestine Fire Department has a little ambulance that is a fire truck that is specially made for this. They will provide that to us. We are going to come down to downtown Wynne and it will be special. He deserves it."

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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