Former Wichita Fire Chief Larry Garcia Dies At 81
Retired Wichita Fire Chief Larry Garcia died on Tuesday morning. He was 81 years old. Chief Garcia was the longest serving city of Wichita employee, working in the department for nearly 50 years. Recently retired Fire Chief Larry Blackwell remembers Chief Garcia as a leader and a mentor.
"Very compassionate and caring and, in fact, one of the last things he said to the department was 'Never get tired of doing good,' and with that, he completed his retirement ceremony and went out the door," Blackwell says. "It's been 10 years since he retired but we think about him every day."
Chief Garcia was one of the highest ranking Hispanics working for city government. He fought historic fires, including in Wichita's 1965 Piatt Street plane crash, which is considered the worst aviation disaster in Kansas history.
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