The sudden death of the fire chief has left a void in Springfield, Fla.
"Stunned. We're all stunned," said Pete Russ, a career firefighter and longtime friend of Chief Chris Adams.
Adams, 40, collapsed at city hall Tuesday morning. He was rushed by ambulance to Bay Medical Center where he died.
"I was at the station when he showed up to get the timecards. He was his normal self, in a good mood," Russ said, adding that the chief gave no indication that he was not feeling well.
Not long afterward, they got the call to go to city hall. The patient was their chief.
Adams was known for his fairness. "He treated everyone the same. It didn't matter to him if you were a volunteer or got a paycheck. He never forgot where he came from."
The combination department in the city of 15,000 has 13 personnel. Although small, Adams was leading a progressive force.
"He was very dedicated to his family, his job, his community. We grew up in the fire service together. He was like a brother to me."
Adams is survived by his wife, and two teenage daughters. Visitation will be held from 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18 at Heritage Funeral Home in Callaway. Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Springfield Community Church.
Fire personnel from across the region are expected.