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Wright Retires, Leaves Behind a Lasting Legacy
By Angie Talken
October 9, 2019 CT

On Thursday, October 3, in a room full of more than a hundred of his closest supporters, friends, family, city and state officials Chillicothe's Fire Chief Darrell V. Wright signed off from service for the last time after 43 years as a firefighter.


Retired Chillicothe Fire Chief Darrell Wright listened to more than 17 people discuss his impact on their lives and the lives of community members during his retirement ceremony last Thursday. ANGIE TALKEN/CT PHOTO

Wright's career began in Carrollton in 1978 as a volunteer firefighter. He left that department and began his career with the Chillicothe Fire Department as a firefighter/ EMT on April 19, 1983. Reading a Proclamation from the City of Chillicothe, Roze Frampton, the city clerk said since 1983, Wright has served the city as an EMT, paramedic, firefighter, engineer, Lieutenant, Captain, director of emergency management and fire chief. "You saved hundreds of lives and impacted even more," she said.

During his 36 years with the Chillicothe Fire Department Wright and his fellow firefighters and EMT and paramedics have experienced the trials and tribulations that come with sacrificing themselves for the safety and well being of others. They have also come together, grown together and worked to improve the safety and lives of everyone in the community, the speakers who recalled how they met and have had their lives changed by Wright commented.

City Administrator Darrin Chappell presented Wright with a Proclamation from the Missouri House of Representatives and Senate. As Wright, Chappell, State Rep. Rusty Black and State Sen. Denny Hoskins stood, Chappell said that Wright was an asset, has a sharp mind full of institutional knowledge, and keen attention to detail. "Darrell has a unique combination of love for his city and love for fire service," Chappell said. "His knowledge and wanting to always do better for his city, his crews and patients will be missed. He has been a tremendous source of support not just to firefighters, EMTs and paramedics here but across the state not just for needed training and equipment but in his support of their heroism for the intensely dangerous job they do."

Among Wright's many accomplishments, he oversaw the remodel and updating of the Chillicothe Fire Department and state-of-the-art training facility and updating and acquisition of new, top of the line equipment. Jayme Caughron, director of Grand River Technical School, thanked Wright for his dedication to students and the school, where he began teaching EMT classes in 1992 and later taught paramedic classes. "You have been instrumental in growing our EMT and paramedic program in what it is today," she said.

More than 17 people fondly recalled how Wright impacted their lives, the hard and dedicated work he did for his fellow firefighters, EMTs and paramedics, and the legacy he will leave behind. Former Chillicothe Firefighter and current Emergency Management Director for the Chariton County Emergency Management Agency, Eric McKenzie, told the crowd how at the age of 22 Wright began encouraging him to apply for a job with the department as he has done for so many over the years.

During his retirement ceremony on Thursday, Wright was also presented with the Missouri Fire Chiefs Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. Wright was named Fire Chief of the Year in 2018 by the Fire Fighters Association of Missouri and was named the 2017 Administrator of the Year by the Missouri Emergency Medical Services Association.

Retired Chillicothe Fire Chief Darrell Wright's helmet was on display during his retirement ceremony last Thursday.

ANGIE TALKEN/CT PHOTO

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