Captain Brad Smartt is remembered not only for his service as a volunteer fire fighter, but also for his giving spirit and incomparable personality.
“He had a unique laugh that I don't think anybody could ever duplicate. And you could hear that across the fire station,” said Fire Chief Clay Hasser, Hasty/McClave Fire Department.
Smartt had a smile that family, friends, and fellow firefighters say they will never forget.
“He had a unique sense of humor that just kept everybody on their toes,” said Hasser. “He was always cutting up around the fire station. He kept everything light.”
The volunteer fire captain spent his life helping others. He volunteered at the Hasty/McClave fire department for 10 years. He not only answered the calls of the community, but trained fellow firefighters who called him reliable.
“He was one of the first to answer our morning test pages and usually ran our operations during the daytime,” said Hasser.
The chief says it takes a special kind of person to be a volunteer fire fighter. He says Smartt always put in extra hours and took on the responsibility of maintaining the station’s equipment. He volunteered over 200 hours each year.
“He did a lot of things that you didn't even think about until he is not around anymore. And then you start seeing gaps here and there and you realize just how much he did do around the fire department and the community as well,” said Hasser.
With an American flag raised high, eight other fire stations lined up their trusts in tribute.
It was evident that the volunteer firefighter made a difference in the lives of many by the size of the crowd in attendance Friday.
Dozens upon dozens from the community and surrounding communities came to celebrate Smartt’s life, grateful for his service.
But what the community remembers most is the giving spirit of the 41-year-old, always there for anyone who needed him.
“He liked to fix things, that was his thing. But not just things, he always wanted to help out people,” a friend said during the service.
“He always had your back and bent over backwards to help anyone out,” said Hasser.
Smartt is remembered as a loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend.
“It just all seems inadequate though when you look at Brad's life and his service and everything he has done. It just doesn't seem like anything that we do would be enough, but we hope it is,” said Hasser.
A life family and friends say is lost too soon, but one that they call unforgettable.
Loved ones said they were comforted knowing that he was born-again, and knew Jesus Christ as His personal savior. During the service, they talked about he always prayed for his fellow firefighters and members of the community, and hoped they would all one day find the Lord.
A Facebook page has been started for the Smartt family asking for donations. Click here for more information.
An investigation into Smartt’s death is underway. The Sheriff's Office is trying to determine what caused his fatal injuries.
If you wish to know more about the investigation, click here.
Brad Smartt was born January 30, 1971 and died on April 7, 2012.