CFD 7 members remember longtime volunteer killed in wreck - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

CFD 7 members remember longtime volunteer killed in wreck

Oleta Tarver was killed after her vehicle left the road and hit a tree. (Source: KSLA News 12) Oleta Tarver was killed after her vehicle left the road and hit a tree. (Source: KSLA News 12)
Authorities are at the scene of a major wreck that sent one woman to the hospital Tuesday evening. (Source: KSLA News 12) Authorities are at the scene of a major wreck that sent one woman to the hospital Tuesday evening. (Source: KSLA News 12)
The crew of Caddo Fire District 7 lowered their flag to half-staff in Tarver's memory on Wednesday. (Source: Nick Lawton, KSLA) The crew of Caddo Fire District 7 lowered their flag to half-staff in Tarver's memory on Wednesday. (Source: Nick Lawton, KSLA)
MOORINGSPORT, LA (KSLA) -

One of the oldest volunteers and EMS instructors in Caddo Fire District 7 history was killed in a car wreck Tuesday night.

The loss of 73-year-old Oleta Tarver has shaken firefighters and volunteers old and new.

They spent Wednesday afternoon honoring her memory.

Flags at the station in Oil City flew at half-staff.

Those gathered in the station embraced one another, celebrating Tarver's life through tears, tissues and tales.

CFD 7 was created in 1987.

But back in the 1970s, there was a volunteer EMT named Oleta Tarver who worked for Fire Chief Bruce Walker back when it was the Mooringsport Volunteer Fire Department.

“Back in the day, we didn’t have paid personnel," the former fire chief said. "It was all volunteers, strictly volunteers.

"So you could say Oleta was a giver because, for 30 plus years, Oleta gave.”

Caddo sheriff's deputies say Tarver was driving down Louisiana Highway 169 when her car left the road and struck a tree Tuesday.

“I was standing in a field yesterday and I got a phone call saying there was a bad wreck on 169," Walker recalled.

"And I found out who it was and they said they called the helicopter. And when I looked up, the copter was headed back to town ... and I knew who it was."

Tarver was flown by Life Air helicopter to University Health in Shreveport, where she was pronounced dead.

Firefighter Brandon Garner was taught by her son Todd, who was one of the responders to his own mother’s crash.

“I just, I couldn’t imagine responding to my mother," Garner said.

Garner said he first met Tarver in 1999 as a 16-year-old junior firefighter.

"You know, as a teenaged boy, you're kind of just in it for the thrill of it. She kind of introduced a different side of it to me."

Amid this tragedy, fire district members could still laugh Wednesday as they remembered what Tarver taught them as an EMS instructor.

“She was fair but she didn’t cut you a lot of slack!" former volunteer Debbie Fillingim said with a laugh. "But neither did the other ones. They wanted us to know what we were doing.”

Fillingim also recalled a time when Tarver dropped everything to help.

"My son was involved in a car accident on Highway 1," she recounted.

"Oleta was working at the country store there. When the radio went off and I picked up and said: 'I'm on my way. That's my son," she went and left her job and got the medic unit and came down there to make sure my child, my son, was OK in that accident."

Tarver also left words to live by for other former volunteers at the station.

“She was there when I delivered, in the middle of the night, delivered my first baby out in the field," Melanie Hubbard said. "She had told me that: ‘Don’t listen to what people say about you. The people who know you know the truth'."

Words that keep Tarver’s fire going in this district.

Fire district members said her son and the rest of her family are holding up as best they can.

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