Richard Arnold “Andy” Loller Jr. was born February 26, 1976, in Fort Worth, Texas, to Richard Loller and Yvonne Collins.
Andy started his fire service career as a volunteer with the Hudson Oaks Fire Department, Texas, in 2002. Shortly after, he attended fire academy at Weatherford College and became a full-time paid firefighter at Hudson Oaks in 2005. Andy rose to the rank of lieutenant/EMT-B before he transitioned to Weatherford Fire Department in 2013 as a firefighter. On his off-duty days, Andy worked part-time as a paid firefighter with the Greenwood Rural Volunteer Fire Department.
Andy was a craftsman of his trade. He devoted his time at work to honing his skills and passing on his knowledge and experience. Andy had a drive to master everything he learned. From extrication to shooting, he was an “all in” kind of guy. He had a love for the outdoors. He was an avid hunter, fisherman, and expert marksman. He also enjoyed weightlifting and was very athletic. Andy always had a smile on his face and a laid-back demeanor. He had a charm that was well received by all who met him.
On June 10, 2018, Andy was deployed to the Davis Mountains in west Texas as part of a 12-member North Texas wildland strike team. Strike Team 137 was sent to contain the Scenic Loop Complex fires. While hiking the fire line near the top of a mountain with his crew, Andy began to experience chest pain. His crew cleared a landing zone on top of the mountain, from which he was transported by helicopter to a local hospital in Alpine. After being stabilized, he was flown to Odessa for further treatment. While in-flight, Andy went into cardiac arrest and, despite the valiant efforts of his wildland crew and all medical staff involved, he succumbed to his injury.
Andy is survived by his wife, Debra Loller; daughter, Chelsea Ortega; son, Colby Robertson; grandson, Jaxson Ortega; parents, Yvonne Collins; sister, Amber Pullin; nieces, Brooke Shirley and Katie Ann Pullin; nephew, Corbitt Shirley; close friends, Seth and Lindsay Winburn and daughter, Clara; and a host of loving friends, and fellow firefighters around the world.
Andy positively impacted everyone he met and will be greatly missed by all. One person close to Andy said, “God couldn’t make too many Andys, or we wouldn’t have anyone to look up to.”