One of the Davenport Fire Department's top leaders and longest tenured members has passed away.
Fire Marshal and Assistant Chief Mike Hayman, 62, died Thursday afternoon after being admitted to the intensive care unit at Genesis Medical Center-East Rusholme Street, Davenport, on Wednesday.
Hayman was with the Davenport Fire Department for 33 years and left behind a strong legacy.
"I never knew a man who had so much integrity and truly was committed to the people he worked with and the people he worked for, which was our community," former Davenport Fire Chief Lynn Washburn said while fighting back tears. "He was my best friend on the department. I never knew a man with more sense of integrity than him."
Mayor Frank Klipsch, who knew Hayman for 25 years, echoed those sentiments.
"We want everyone to know Mike will be missed, and we will rally around his family to make sure his memory lives on," Klipsch said.
Hayman was the recipient of the Iowa Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators Life Member Award. The Life Member Award is the chapter's most prestigious honor.
In honoring him with the award, the organization recognized Hayman for his commitment to bring training to the eastern half of the state and his continued support of the Annual Training Seminar, which the Davenport Fire Department was highly involved in.
Hayman was a member of the Iowa Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators since 1993.
City Administrator Corri Spiegel has not indicated who will assume the fire marshal and assistant chief position in the interim period.
In a memorandum to the Davenport Civil Service Commission this past week, Spiegel wrote that succession planning for the department's top leadership positions was a key strategic goal with Hayman and Interim Chief Jim Bickford set to retire in early 2019.
Klipsch said those decisions will be made in the upcoming days, but the department was well-equipped to continue to protect the city. The city's focus in the interim period will be on Hayman's family, the fire department and city staff.
"We're focused on being with the family through grieving process and providing support to his fire service family," Klipsch said.
Davenport has had one of the highest arson conviction rates in Iowa, which Scott County Attorney Mike Walton said was partly due to the strong working relationship Hayman built with his office.
Walton called Hayman "the consummate professional" and the "epitome of a dedicated public servant."
"I think Mike and I educated each other about the successful investigation and prosecution of arson crimes," Walton said. "He taught me the science of firefighting and cause determination, and I taught him about the judicial process. He fostered a close working relationship between the Davenport Fire Department and the County Attorney’s Office that remains to this day."