September 8, 2010 Edition

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Walnut Ridge Mayor Michelle Rogers presented a plaque to the Walnut Ridge Fire Department at a dinner held in their honor on Aug. 31. The city council hosted a celebration to thank the firemen and others who were instrumental in lowering the city's ISO rating to a Class III. Accepting the plaque on behalf of the fire department were: Chief Frank Owens (from left), Capt. Wes Lillard, former chief Alan Haskins, Assistant Chief Harold White, Capt. Chris Jones and Assistant Chief Carl White.
TD Photos ~ Gloria Wilkerson

WRFD honored at party/dinner

Former Walnut Ridge Fire Chief Alan Haskins received a plaque for his service to the city from Mayor Michelle Rogers on behalf of the city council at a celebration dinner on Aug. 31. Haskins served as fire chief for three and a half years.

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge City Council hosted a celebration on Aug. 31 in honor of the city's firemen and volunteer firemen's success in getting Walnut Ridge's ISO rating lowered from a Class V to a Class III.

Mayor Michelle Rogers thanked the firemen, City Water Works and the 911 Communications Center for their efforts in achieving the lower rating, which will bring lower insurance premiums to businesses, industries and individuals, as well as making the city safer when fires occur.

Former fire chief Alan Haskins, who resigned recently to accept the position of fire science director/instructor at Black River Vocational School, was presented with a plaque in appreciation for his work and accomplishments during his tenure as chief.

"I appointed him as chief because I just had a feeling he would be good at the job, and I have been very glad to have him lead our fire department," Rogers said. "He has done a wonderful job for our city, and I have enjoyed working with him.

"Alan has left the department and the city better than he found it when he took over as chief," she added.

Haskins spoke briefly and emphasized the lower rating was not the accomplishment of just one person or one department.

"Everybody in the fire department and other city personnel helped us accomplish our goal," Haskins said. "Walnut Ridge has the best fire department in the state and maybe in the nation as far as I'm concerned. The firemen in this department deserve every honor they get."

Rogers also presented a plaque to the fire department in appreciation of all they have done to assist in obtaining the Class III rating.

Frank Owens is currently serving as interim fire chief.

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