LYNN, Ala. (WIAT) – Two volunteer fire departments in Winston County are mourning the loss of their brother who lost his life in the line of duty Thursday afternoon. Larry Harbin, 65, died doing what he loved best, protecting his community.

Managing water pressure and driving the fire trucks is where you’d likely see Harbin at any emergency.

“Even though he didn’t live directly in this community, he treated every member of this community as a family,” Lynn Volunteer Fire Captain Cody Wakefield said.

Harbin’s time was cut short at the Lynn Volunteer Fire Department, after moving to help there five months ago. He spent nearly two decades serving in neighboring jurisdiction Delmar.

“I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t want to believe it,” Delmar Fire Chief Ray Cantrell said. “The thing that made it easy for me was that he went out doing that he enjoyed doing. He went out with his boots on.”

Black bands wrap around on their badges and the flag out front of Lynn’s department is at half-staff, signifying the gaping hole in their hearts.

“His loss is going to be felt for a very long time,” Lynn Fire Chief Tim Harris said. “I know those shoes will never be replaced and they’re going to be very hard ones to come close to fill.”

The departments will miss his beaming smile and boost of positivity when times get tough but said they are grateful for all the time they had together.

“Larry wasn’t a friend, he wasn’t an acquaintance, he was a family member coming to help you out. That’s how everyone knew him, that’s how we will remember him,” Wakefield said.

Funeral arrangements are still being made. An autopsy is being done to determine Harbin’s cause of death.