Hall County Fire Services lost one of its most beloved employees over the weekend.
Capt. Tim Peebles, Emergency Medical Services coordinator, died Sunday at his home following an extended illness. He was 44.
Funeral services are set for 1 p.m. Wednesday at Lakewood Baptist Church at 2235 Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville. Burial will take place at Memorial Park Funeral Home.
Peebles, formerly a longtime spokesman for the department, led an effort to get automated external defibrillators into area schools and emergency vehicles. The devices diagnose potentially life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias.
He also started the department’s Explorer Program through the Boy Scouts of America.
“And now we have 20 young folks within our ranks, and we have since hired some of (them),” said Capt. Scott Cagle, the department’s fire marshal, on Monday.
“The list goes on and on. He was known throughout the state in so many organizations and associations,” Cagle said.
As part of funeral preparations, fire officials considering who should handle what duties still thought of Peebles.
When it came to public speaking, “Tim’s name came to mind, because Tim was always the one who did it,” Cagle said.
“He was the professional speaker and worked at radio stations on his days off. He was the guy who was the master of ceremonies for all our events. Tim was that go-to person — he will be sorely, sorely missed.”
Peebles began as a volunteer firefighter in the 1980s, eventually getting hired and working his way up the ranks.
He was promoted in January 2000 to captain and began serving as the EMS coordinator.
“He was one of those employees you’d want everyone to model themselves after,” said Cagle, who followed Peebles as department spokesman. “... He was a mentor to me in that aspect of the job.”
In his spare time, Peebles enjoyed coaching soccer and was an avid photographer, Cagle said.