Ricky Lee Winkles, Sr.

Chief Winkles responded to the report of a wildland fire at 1214hrs. He was first on the scene and found that the fire had spread to a residence. While he waited for an engine to arrive on the scene, he fought the fire on the exterior of the structure. When the engine arrived, he donned an SCBA and attacked the interior fire along with another firefighter.

After approximately 15 minutes, Chief Winkles exited the structure when his low air alarm sounded. He reported feeling sick and contacted the EMS director. He was advised to go to the EMS headquarters for as assessment.

At EMS headquarters, Chief Winkles was found to be suffering an acute heart attack. He was transported by ambulance to a local hospital and suffered cardiac arrest during the transport. He was treated in the ambulance and in the hospital but suffered another heart attack after approximately one hour in the hospital’s intensive care unit. He was later pronounced dead.

For additional information regarding this incident, please refer to NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program report F2014-04 (https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire/pdfs/face201404.pdf)

Incident Location: Hatche Coon Road (USNG: 15S YA 26 46)

Department Information

Trumann Fire Department
PO Box 171, 801 W Main ST
U.S. National Grid: 15S YA 2454 5034
Trumann, Arkansas 72472

View NIOSH Report »

Ricky Lee Winkles, Sr. was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.
Age: 53 
Rank: Fire Chief 
Classification: Career 
Incident date: Jan 28, 2014 17:00
Date of death: Jan 28, 2014 
Cause of death: Stress/Overexertion 
Nature of death: Heart Attack 
Activity type: Advance Hose Lines/Fire Attack (includes Wildland) 
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire 
Fixed property use: Residential