Nichols Hills firefighters try to cope with fire chief's killing

Nichols Hills Assistant Fire Chief Terry Hamilton said the small department of 13 firefighters “has heard from just about every fire chief” in Oklahoma in the wake of the killing of Fire Chief Keith Bryan.
BY ANDREW KNITTLE aknittle@opubco.com Published: September 22, 2011

He also said he was close with Bryan and that their families sometimes vacationed together.

“I worked with him for 30 years,” Hamilton said. “And I can honestly say that I was totally shocked when I heard what happened. It was completely unexpected.”

Hamilton said Bryan, who had two sons and two grandchildren, will be missed at the city's fire station.

“He was the biggest practical joker we have here … had a great sense of humor,” he said. “And he loved this city and this community. He took the job of providing our service very seriously, and he was respected for that.”

Bryan also will be remembered for his efforts in and around the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995.

In the aftermath of the bombing, Bryan and hundreds of local, state and federal rescue workers converged on the scene.

Bryan recounted the experience in a media report on the 10-year anniversary of the bombing, saying the ordeal had taught him to deal with victims and his own emotions.

“After the bombing, I had a lot of emotions,” Bryan said in 2005. “There came a breaking point, a big cry. After that, I think I was a better boss and husband. I'm able to cry now at the things I hold inside. I see it as a good thing. I'm able to relate to people.”

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