Family, friends pay tribute to Savannah Fire Battalion Chief Tod - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Family, friends pay tribute to Savannah Fire Battalion Chief Tod Heil

Family, friends, fellow firefighters and Rangers gathered to share stories and pay tribute to Savannah Fire and Emergency Services Battalion Chief Forrest "Tod" Heil.

It was an emotional memorial service in celebration of Heil's life held at the Wilmington Island Club.

One my one, family members, rangers and fellow firefighters spoke of the extraordinary deeds and legacy Heil left behind.

On Friday, with friends and family by his side, Heil passed away after a long and hard fought battled with brain cancer.

"Tod has set a legacy that will never be repeated at Savannah Fire," said Battalion Chief Kenny Rentiers. "Tod's commitment, there are three words that come to mind when it comes to Tod. They are honor, courage and commitment."

Hearing how her father impacted so many was somewhat overwhelming for the family, but it showed how true his spirit was.

"It was heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time because you knew he had such an impact on so many people, and it is heartbreaking he is no longer here," said McKinley Heil, Tod's 14-year-old daughter.

She shared her final letter to her father during an emotional memorial ceremony.

"Dad, I am lying her in realization that you are no longer here," she read. "That you won't be able to get dressed up for prom or help me through a broken heart."

Tod Heil was known as a family man, but he was just as dedicated to his family at Savannah Fire and the 175th Ranger Battalion in Savannah.

"He has left a lasting impact, and I think the entire fire department will be sad he is gone," said McKinley Heil.

In memory of Tod Heil, Savannah Fire held a ringing of the bell ceremony and the Rangers held a 21 gun salute to show the honor and respect they have for a man who committed his life to serving.

Tod Heil is survived by his wife Leigh and three children, Parker, McKinley and Jake.

Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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