The sudden death of Kenneth Garrett has prompted Cullen Fire District No. 6 to seek its second new board chairman in two months.
"It was a shock to hear that Mr. Garrett had passed away," Fire Chief Thomas Arnold said. "It was a tragic loss."
Garrett, 81, died February 12. He was a lifelong resident of the area, a member of First Baptist Church and retired from International Paper Company with 25 years of service.
He was also a member of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 141-Shreveport, a retired veteran from the National Guard with 20 years of service.
"I have known him (Garrett) for several years," fellow board member Ted Owens said. "I really hated to see him go. I lost a good friend."
Owens, who was appointed in December, has taken over the position until officially appointed by the Webster Parish Police Jury in the upcoming March meeting.
The Cullen City Council will vote to make a recommendation to the police jury to fill the spot during its next meeting on February 24.
"They will recommend somebody to be appointed (by the police jury)," jury president Jim Bonsall said.
In January, Fire Chief Charles Hile was removed from his position. Arnold said the fire department is moving forward now and doing well.
"It's a bright new day for the Cullen Fire Department," Arnold said concerning the fire department's morale. "We are really working together, and everything is really coming together."
Owens agreed everything is running smoothly now.
"All the firemen are happy," he said. "We have changed things up a little bit, since I got on the board and let the firemen have input – what they need on the fire trucks and what they want."