A longtime administrative assistant with the Franklin Fire Department will be retiring after 15 years of service with the city of Franklin, leaving behind a position in which she did a little bit of everything.
Cyndi Wright joined the city in 2004 as a secretary in the Franklin Police Department and was quickly promoted and moved to Franklin Fire administration the following year. She served as the department’s only full-time administrative assistant for several years.
“We are losing a very important team member who has impacted everyone in our department in a meaningful way,” Franklin Fire Chief Rocky Garzarek said.
He commended Wright’s work ethic, dependability and incredible ability to remember names, saying, “Cyndi rarely took a sick day. She also made a point to greet everyone by name.
“Cyndi has meant so much to me personally during the many years that we have worked together. We will all miss her smiling face and sunny personality, but I will miss her more than anyone.”
Wright answered phones at fire headquarters, handled payroll, scheduling and a multitude of other tasks, including helping to coordinate events such as recruit firefighter graduation ceremonies, retirement celebrations, awards ceremonies and, sadly, funerals.
Wright said her most memorable moments included helping to coordinate the funeral procession/escort for late Fire Chief J.W. Culberson in 2007 and arrangements following two tragic firefighter deaths, firefighter-paramedic David Cline in 2009 and firefighter-paramedic J.D. Fotopoulos in 2016.
Fotopoulos was killed while on a mission trip in Honduras. Wright helped coordinate arrangements with city and state officials for Chief Garzarek, Assistant Fire Chief Glenn Johnson, and Fotopoulos’s brother to travel to Honduras and bring Fotopoulos home.
“I’ve enjoyed helping people — employees and the public,” Wright said. “It’s been fun. Every day is different, which at times is a good thing!”
She also has seen many changes. When Wright joined the fire department in 2005, there were five fire stations, 132 personnel, and the department responded to 4,876 emergencies. Today there are eight fire stations, 172 personnel, and the call volume has nearly doubled.
Wright and her husband, Dave Wright, who also works for the city of Franklin as a building inspector, have two sons, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren.
“We wish Cyndi all the best,” Garzarek said. “We hope she enjoys her well-deserved retirement after helping take care of us for so many years.”