Wayne Hartness, a local hero who fought fires proudly, lost his battle with cancer in September 2015. Last month, his name was added to a local fallen firefighters memorial.
Those who knew him well said the dedication was bittersweet, noting that while he was well-deserving of a noble honor, it was a painful memory and realization that he is forever gone.
Hartness served the Wooster Fire Department for 33 years. Ten of those, he served as fire chief. He also worked for the Conway Fire Department for 23 years.
“He was a hard worker, loyal, God and family oriented and put others’ needs in front of his own,” Conway Fire Chief Mike Winter said of Hartness. “Placing a name on the Fallen Firefighter Memorial is not something that you ever want to do. However, it is a way to honor and always remember those who have given their life for another.”
At age 52, the Wooster resident and long-time firefighter died of colon cancer on Sept. 7, 2015. While he is forever remembered as a fighter, he ultimately lost his toughest battle. State officials later determined his career caused his death.
Log Cabin Democrate
Receiving an award named after one of its own, the Conway Fire Department was honored this weekend for its service over the past year.
The Fire and Emergency Medical Services Society's Jon S. McMahan Service of the Year Award is bestowed upon departments that boast services that have significantly contributed to local, state and national provisions and also contribute to improving patients' pre-hospital care. Such nominees for the Fire/EMS Service of the Year award must also show exceptional first response delivery. This award was named after Jon Scott McMahan, a former Conway firefighter who died of stomach cancer at age 45 on Feb. 17, 2009.
Jason Robitaille, says they “hit the jackpot” when they decided to move to Heber Springs, but it looks like it was a major “W” for the community when Robitaille was chosen as the new fire chief.
Forty-year-old Robitaille is highly qualified for the position he’s taken here, having worked in the fire industry for 16 years with six years of chief officer experience. He openly shared his education, training, and experience, but modestly left out one of the highest accolades he’s ever received. According to the Calaveras Enterprise, Robitaille was awarded the Presidential Hall of Fame Award from the California State Firefighters Association in 2015. It is the “highest award given by the 18,000 member association.”
The modest fire chief is an Arkansas native. His grandfather had a family farm in Mansfield, Arkansas where his grandfather’s 12 brothers and sisters all lived.
Heber Springs Sun-Times
Benton County officials see the benefits of a new emergency radio and dispatch system, but a change could create problems for other police and fire departments in the county.
Benton County Sheriff Shawn Holloway is asking the Quorum Court to spend nearly $5 million for a new system for the Sheriff's Office and jail, the Road Department, emergency services, the Coroner's Office and the county's rural fire service, which will distribute the equipment among the county's smaller fire departments. The county would buy seven new consoles for the county's dispatch center, along with 356 mobile radios for county vehicles, 601 portable radios for individuals and 175 pagers for the rural fire departments.
Benton County would also buy 27 mobile radios and 27 portable radios for city fire departments that operate county-owned fire apparatus.
NWAOnline - Northwest Arkansas News