Longtime DeKalb firefighter turned Alabama deputy dies while saving drowning swimmers

BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. — Two sets of first responders are mourning the loss of one of their own.

The DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department announced Monday that their former Deputy Chief of Operations, of 25 years, Bill Smith had died.

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After retiring from fire service in DeKalb County in 2011, Smith became a deputy with Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office in south Alabama.

Baldwin County Sheriff Huey Hoss Mack says Smith and another deputy were attempting to save three swimmers in distress Sunday night when he drowned. The other deputy was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive.

The trio of swimmers are also successfully rescued. They were treated for non-life threatening injures.

Sheriff Mack said Smith had been with the department for seven years.

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Dekalb County Fire Chief Darnell Fullum released a statement saying, “Bill positively impacted the community he served and the firefighters he worked with. He is fondly remembered in our department for his passion and dedication to the fire service and the resolute protection he gave to the citizens of DeKalb County.”

A statement from the office of Dekalb County Fire Chief Darnell Fullum. William “Bill” Smith retired from DCFR in 2011...

Posted by Dekalb County Fire Rescue Department on Monday, June 7, 2021