A Sad Farewell to Bruton Branch Fire Chief Freddie Chason

I am extremely sad to report to you that our Bruton Branch Fire Chief Freddie Chason lost his fight for life
today.  I had reported to you earlier that he had been airlifted to a Jackson Hospital.  I don't really have any
details for you and that doesn't really matter now anyway.  

For those who may not have known Freddie very well, let me tell you a little about what an asset he was to our
community.  It has been through his leadership that our volunteer fire department has recovered from it's fire
and gained us all lower ratings for insurance, the same ratings as the city of Savannah.

As your Association representative, I worked closely with him and can tell you that I know of no other person
who could have organized our fund raiser for the fire hall with such success (around $15,000+).  He worked
tirelessly with the Hardin County Chief Martin to get equipment to us while ours was being rebuilt (keeping the
loaned fire truck in front of his house).  

His tireless efforts literally brought our Fire Department back from the ashes to one that is even better than it
was before the fire.  He has met and reported at our annual meetings. He had fire meetings at least 2 nights each
month and also on other weekends for training sessions.  He was usually the first fireman to the scene when
calls came in and was the most knowledgeable about all our equipment.  

He not only served our community but assisted other fire departments when called upon.  He was recently out
at 3 AM when called to help in northern Hardin County during the storms and late into the night for a fire in
Counce.  He was very highly respected by the other fire departments in our county.  His loyalty and dedication
to the fire department was reflected by the love and respect of all who served under him and with him.

Freddie was the kind of neighbor who had a lot of knowledge about cars, boats, and mechanical equipment like
wells and was always ready to help anyone who called him.  The last time I saw him, I was coming home at night
a little over a week ago; he along with other volunteer firemen were called out to direct traffic around a fallen tree
while TVEC repaired lines to all of our homes here.

It is men like Freddie who volunteer to be our Chief that make our community better than it would otherwise be
and he is almost irreplaceable.  Past Chief's of our volunteer fire department like Charles Hindman, Mason
Rives, and Freddie Chason are the reason we have a fire department at all.  Their volunteer service takes up a
lot of time and effort.

Their wives Sherry Chason, Petey Rives, and Anita Hindman have been very supportive of their efforts and have
always been the first to volunteer their service when Freddie had organized breakfast or lunches at the fire hall
for the community.  Just over a week ago, Anita Hindman, came to our meeting and handed Freddie $1,000
check from Walmart she received when she applied for a grant there (this was the 2nd she has gotten for us that
I know of).  

Our Association needs to thank these men and their wives for making our community better than it otherwise
would be.  Freddie's wife, Sherry, has lost a husband but we in the Bruton Branch Community have lost much
more than just a friend in Freddie Chason.  
Fire Chief Freddie Chason
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Died April 25th 2008