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Mikell 1

Mikell 2

You may not know him by name, but if you’ve ever made a fire call in Toombs County or the City of Vidalia, or needed a first responder, you may have been on the receiving end of what Mikell Byrd dedicated and volunteered his life and service to do. Sadly, “Big Mike,” as he was called by those close to him, succumbed to cancer early Monday morning in Augusta. A long procession of local firefighters and EMS personnel escorted him back to Vidalia and gathered with his family at the Ronald V. Hall Funeral Home.

Toombs County Fire Chief Johnny Moser speaks on his association with Mikell.

“Mikell was a protector,” Chief Moser said. “He was a protector of his family, a protector of us in the department, and a protector of the community. We weren’t expecting it to be this way. This hurts us; this hurts the community and it’s going to hurt for a long time.

“Mikell was just a big teddy bear,” he continued. “He would do anything to help anyone. This is tough.”

Vidalia Fire Chief Brian Sikes spoke highly of the fallen volunteer firefighter and says what his demise will mean not just to the local fire departments, but also the community.

“Mikell was a good man; he and his wife Jamie were good people,” Chief Sikes said. “In the fire department, we are a brotherhood. We are family. When one hurts, we all hurt with them. This is a tough loss.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, funeral arrangements were still being made.

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