Community Mourns Passing Of Beloved Volunteer Fire Chief

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WOODLAND, Miss. (WCBI) – A Chickasaw County town is mourning the loss of a well known first responder.

The chief of the Woodland Volunteer Fire Department passed away after suffering a stroke.

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Outside of the Woodland Volunteer Fire Department, firefighters attach a memorial wreath on a truck.

Inside, preparations are being made to host a visitation for Chief Randall Yeatman.

“This place meant a lot to him,” said Chickasaw County Fire Coordinator Johnathan Blankenship.

Chief Yeatman answered a medical call the evening of November 21st.

A few hours later on Thanksgiving morning, he was found on the floor of his home.  The chief had suffered a stroke. He was rushed to NMMC in Tupelo.

The entire community rallied around the chief and his family.

Now, the community is remembering a dear friend.

“I’ve known Randall since he came on fire department, did nothing but community service all the time, really good guy, just a very special man,” said Talitha Hudson, a longtime friend.

“”He had our backs on everything, we been in house fires together, car wrecks, you name it, we did it together, he’s always stuck beside us,” said Assistant Fire Chief Donny Smith.

Like most volunteer firefighters, Chief Yeatman had a regular job.

He was a truck driver, but those who knew and worked alongside him say his heart was with helping the public and he was always looking for others to help answer that call.

“He helped recruit, he was always active in getting people here and the community needs to step up and come together as a team,” Blankenship said.

Chief Yeatman was active in the Mississippi Fire Chiefs Association.

His son is a deputy with the Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Department.

Visitation for Chief Yeatman will take place Thursday at the Woodland Volunteer Fire Department from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

The service is set for Friday at 1:30 p.m. at Amity Baptist Church on Highway 389 in Woodland.

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