Chief Richard Leo ‘Ricky’ Barbour began his fire service career in 1969‚ the year that Wilson’s Mills Fire Department began the process of becoming chartered by the State of North Carolina. Ricky was a charter member‚ and the department began answering calls in 1973.
Ricky held many ranks in the department. He became chief in 1996 and remained in that position until his death in 2011. During his time as chief‚ Ricky also served as president of the Johnston County Firemen’s Association and the Johnston County Chiefs’ Association.
Ricky had a sincere love for his community and the people living here. He was quick to help out in any way he could. Ricky brought many positive ideas to the department. The department added a second station during his tenure in 2003.
Ricky is survived by his wife‚ Diane; three daughters‚ Valerie‚ Amy‚ and Holly; and two sons‚ Ryan and Chad. He was also a grandfather to seven wonderful grandchildren.
Ricky’s third love‚ after family and the fire service‚ was deer hunting. He spent many hours looking for ‘the big one‚’ and he found several over his years of hunting.
Ricky was also the Safety and Health Director for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services‚ a career that carried him over the entire state of North Carolina.
Ricky was a member of the Wilson’s Mills Baptist Church.
The only stranger Ricky ever found was someone he hadn’t had a chance to talk to yet.
More Video: Richard Leo Barbour Hero Tribute