By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
NEWKIRK — Tim Walker has spent the past few decades in service to the Newkirk community as a paramedic and firefighter for the Newkirk Fire Department (NFD), which also included a term as Assistant Fire Chief, a position he has been happy to have filled. Walker has finally hung his coat up for the last time, however, and is looking now at a new life in retirement, while still pledging to serve the community any way he can.
Walker’s last official day was Friday, July 10.
Walker first moved to Newkirk in 1989, but he was actually born and raised in Arkansas City, graduating with the class of 1988. He came to Newkirk for the NFD.
“A friend of mine was a volunteer there, and he asked if I wanted to be a volunteer (at NFD), and I just fell in love with it,” he said.
He volunteered for the NFD for two years, leaving in 1991 for service in the U.S. Coast Guard, stationed as a controlman in Marathon, Fla. and Galveston, Texas.
“I talked to a friend who was joining the Coast Guard, and I talked to a recruiter, and a week later, I was on a plane,” he said.
He returned to Newkirk in 1995, again as a volunteer, receiving full-time work at the NFD in 1996.
All technicians with the NFD have a dual role of firefighter and paramedic. For Walker, he rose to the level of EMT intermediate, which has some roles as an EMT, although more limited.
“We can start IVs and administer medications, but not as much as the EMT can,” he said.
Having spent such time in the NFD, there are numerous situations that affected him, such as the Newkirk United Methodist Church Fire, but some are also positive.
“I was an EMS and fire training officer,” he said.
In addition to being a fire fighter and EMT technician, he is also a father to several children, including Amber Littlefield, Cailee Walker and Erica Richie, and stepchildren Champ Cain and Cristi Cain.
The city of Newkirk is sad to see him leave, but wishes him the best in his new phase of life.
“He’s been very dedicated to the city of Newkirk. He’s been a wonderful firefighter and EMT, and he will be dearly missed,” said City Manager Jane Thomas.
Fire Chief Adam Longcrier added, “Tim is going to be greatly missed. It’ll be hard to replace him. We’re losing a lot of knowledge with him, but we’re happy for him. We wish him a long and happy retirement.”
While Walker has spent at least a few days with NFD even following retirement, he is also looking forward to his new life, to do what he wants.
“What’s enjoyable about it is not having the pager, and choosing to not have to go up to the station,” he said. “There are some things like fire trainings, so I’ll still go up for that.”
As for his future in retirement, he is planning a simple life.
“I’m going to fish and hunt,” he said.