By LIBBY CLUETT
The City of Mineral Wells, firefighting community and many citizens are mourning the loss of Mineral Wells Fire Chief Robin Allen.
It seems those who saw her at Friday’s homecoming pep rally and Thursday night’s bonfire, were shocked to found out she died Friday night.
Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department First Assistant Chief Lynn Reasoner said he did not know the details but noted that Allen had been dealing with health issues for a while. He added that she seemed to be doing well and “was expecting to come back to work in a few weeks.”
Reasoner said he has been coordinating a ’round-the-clock firefighter’s vigil for Allen.
“We have a tradition in the fire service that someone stays with the body 24 hours a day until the funeral,” Reasoner explained, adding that local departments did this with the late MWVFD Chief and Palo Pinto County Fire Marshall Steve Perdue, who died in 2011.
He is setting up 2-hour shifts for emergency personnel to stand vigil in uniform until her funeral, which he said is tentatively set for Friday, 10 a.m., at First Baptist Church of Mineral Wells.
Reasoner said firefighters escorted her body to Dallas for autopsy, stayed with her overnight, and returned with her Saturday afternoon. He said several Metroplex-area fire departments assisted with the escort, following in their vehicles through Dallas, Arlington, Fort Worth and Weatherford. He said when the escort arrived on the western edge of Weatherford, Cool, Garner, Greenwood and Millsap VFDs fell in line to help escort her to the edge of Mineral Wells. At the Lake Mineral Wells State Park and Trailway bridge, Reasoner said city and volunteer departments escorted her through town to Baum-Carlock-Bumgardner, which he said is handling the funeral arrangements.
In addition to her crew of firefighters and emergency medical staff, cohorts and friends, Allen leaves behind her husband and three athletic children, between the ages of 16 and 20.
MWVFD asks that anyone who wants to share food, flowers or any expression of condolence to the Allen family, please take them to the Perdue Training Center, south of the downtown fire station.
The Index will keep readers informed of finalized funeral arrangements.