Trumann honors fallen hero

Saturday, February 22, 2014

At an emotional city council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 18, the Trumann City Council voted to retire unit #301 in honor of the late Fire Chief Ricky Winkles.

"In honor, memory, and respect for our beloved, fallen hero, it is the desire and intent of the Trumann Fire Department to retire the badge and unit number held by Chief Ricky Winkles," said Earnie Link, Interim Chief.

Link added that it was just a small token to show present and future generations the sacrifice Winkles made for Trumann.

"'All give some; some give all' is a statement that doesn't really mean much to people until they are thrust into a situation such as ours," he said. "We all give some to keep this community safe. Chief Winkles gave all keeping us safe."

After responding to a house fire on Jan. 28, Winkles died in the line of duty, suffering a fatal heart attack. Winkles had been with the Trumann Fire Department since 1986.

Link said the support from surrounding cities after the loss was overwhelming with several fire departments volunteering to take shifts for the Trumann Fire Department. Departments that helped out during this time included West Memphis, Jonesboro, Forrest City, Caldwell, Bay, Bono, Brookland, Weiner, Harrisburg, Marked Tree, Lepanto and more. Link said the extra help allowed the Trumann Fire Department to take the week off for grievances.

"We had help from all over northeast Arkansas," Link said. "We are truly grateful, because it allowed time to mourn the loss of a dear asset to the community, our friend, and our brother."

With the tragic loss in mind, Trumann Mayor Sheila Walters expressed gratitude to all city employees for their service to the community. Walters presented a plaque to Winkles' wife and council alderman, Bonnie, in honor of her husband's service. A plaque will also be placed at the Trumann Fire Department to honor the fallen hero.

In other business, the council:

*approved a request for a bucket brigade by Sue Southard with the Northeast Arkansas Red Cross. The organization will conduct the bucket brigade from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 4.

*Walters made mention of the recent Legislative Joint Audit with no questions or comments. She said all reports came back good.

*the State of the City was announced. Walters reviewed over the last year in Trumann mentioning that the city is financially sound with progress throughout 2013. She also included the new Adult Education Center will be constructed in 2014.

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