Coming out of his office at the Central Fire Station on Friday afternoon while his retirement party was still going on in another room, Battalion Chief Ryland Lauen took a walk down the hallway, stopping to look at pictures on the wall of the past Searcy fire chiefs.

“J.W. ‘Red’ Morris hired me on July 5th of 1989,” Lauen said on his last day with the department. “Dave Webb took over in June of 2000 – Red retired and Dave took over. Chief [Bill] Baldridge came to us, I believe, in September of 1995. When Chief Baldridge retired, Chief [Andy] Woody came and he stayed, I believe, two years. Now, [the department has] Chief [Brian] Dunavan. I never thought I would work for five fire chiefs, but I made it.”

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