An open letter from Eric Hill, former Fire Chief of Sulphur Springs (Received by KSST at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday):
Dear citizens of Sulphur Springs,
As of 5:01 p.m. on August 23rd, the city of Sulphur Springs has terminated my position as Fire Chief of Sulphur Springs.
It has been an honor and a privilege serving the citizens of Sulphur Springs and Hopkins county for the last 27 years through the SSFD. I knew 30 years ago, when I started my career as an EMT and eventually as a firefighter that it was my duty to serve and protect the citizens of the town that I and my children call home. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to create wonderful memories within the fire and EMT service–from saving lives in the midst of catastrophe to delivering a child in the back of an ambulance. All the while, I have also been touched with the unforgettable memories of the life that I could not save, and it weighs on my conscience to think about all the lives I will no longer be in the position to protect.
I’ve been blessed to be able to serve the citizens of this community for as long as I have; I never took this job for the money but rather for the opportunity to help all of those who needed it. Being a firefighter for the city of Sulphur Springs for the past 27 years has truly been a calling straight from God. And even though my time as a first responder has been cut short, the memories and the friendships that I have cultivated from the ashes of countless fires and from the construction of countless new buildings will stay with me forever.
One thing I have learned from my life spent in this town is Sulphur Springs’ resilience and their unadulterated support for all the first responders who diligently continue to serve this city. Even though I will no longer hold this position, there are countless men and women who still do. So I part on this final note: thank you for allowing me this opportunity to serve you, and thank you to those who continue to do the same.