Oak Grove Fire Chief Randy Pogue is fighting for his life after a Feb. 2 accident on Arkansas Highway 365 between Maumelle and North Little Rock.
Pulaski County Sheriff’s office spokesman Lt. Carl Minden said Pogue, a 32-year veteran of the volunteer department, was on duty responding to another emergency when his vehicle hit a patch of ice and left the roadway.
Family members said Pogue has been in Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock since the accident and has developed complications while there. He’s in a medically induced coma on life support, said the family.
Last week, the family reached out to other firefighters around the state requesting prayers for Pogue.
But on Tuesday, Veronica, Pogue’s wife, said he was improving.
"He’s still very critical but he is better than he was last week," she said.
She added that her husband’s back was broken in the accident but he’s not paralyzed. Because of the accident Pogue has developed lung issues and was placed on life support and a medically induced coma as a result. She said doing so would give his lungs an opportunity to heal much faster.
Pogue has been a member of the volunteer department since he was 17 and has been chief since 2003.
He works for the Arkansas State Police as supervisor of the department’s install shop and is also an Air Force veteran, where he served as a firefighter.
The couple have four grown children: Josie, Rhonda, Craig and Randall.
The accident happened around noon on Feb. 2 near the Blue Hill Community while Pogue was driving his Oak Grove Command vehicle, a SUV.
She said she appreciated the prayers and the outreach from firefighters and others around the state.
A trust fund to assist the chief with his medical and living expenses is in the process of being set up as a charitable organization at Arkansas Bank and Trust, she said.
"We work closely with Chief Pogue and his department through our mutual aid agreement on house fires, grass fires, highway vehicle extraction and have a good working relationship with him," said Maumelle Fire Chief John Payne. "They often come into Maumelle to help us and we assist them in the Oak Grove Community. We hope and pray for the best outcome for him as a friend and fellow firefighter."