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Waynesville Fire Protection Battalion Chief dies Tuesday morning

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 6:41 PM CDT
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WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (KY3) - He was a father, a grandfather, and a firefighter.

Many are grieving in Pulaski County after Chief Rick Hobbs passed away early Tuesday morning. His firefighter family is learning to live without his infectious personality.

“I miss him. It’s not going to be the same without him here.” said Chief Doug Yureko. The two have been friends for decades.

“Most of all dedicated grandfather, dedicated father, a dedicated public servant. He spent a large part of his life doing civic things,” said Yureko.

From working at the Richland Police Department to working at Tri-County Fire Protection and Waynesville Fire Protection District, Chief Hobbs was a big part of the community. Some Waynesville firefighters say Chief Hobbs was always there when you needed someone.

”Lately, I’ve been going through some stuff and no matter what time I’d call him, what time I needed him, he would always answer and he would stay on the phone as long as need be,” said firefighter Joe Wilkes.

Others say you couldn’t help but be in a good mood around him.

”If you weren’t in a good mood around Hobbs, that was your own fault. He would do whatever he could to change that,“ said Wilkes.

His firefighter family said he will be missed.

“Things just wont be the same around here without him, that’s all I have to say,” said Yureko.

The Richland mayor ordered the flags in town to be at half staff in honor of Chief Hobbs.

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