Canada´s longest serving firefighter was with the Lamont fire station for 71 years
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Members of the fire department of Lamont will remember Bob Mitchell for a long time. After 71 years he was Canada´s longest serving firefighter.
CTV Edmonton writes in a recent article that Bob Mitchell passed away on Wednesday April 30. He began working as a volunteer firefighter when he was 18 and was with the Lamont fire service for 71 years.
"Bob was a huge part of the station. He was one of our founding members and he really truly was everybody’s best friend," said Scott Calder, the district chief of the Lamont Fire Department.
Mitchell was no longer responding to calls, but he was still doing administrative work.
"Bob would come down every Tuesday night, he was always here early, and he did his role, he was always taking attendance and checking in on people all the time," said Calder.
In September of 2021, the Lamont fire station was renamed in Mitchell's honour, in connection with the70th anniversary of the station.
In 2022 Mitchell went into long-term care in hospital, but still stayed involved with the department.
"We did get him here a few times over the last year to attend meetings with the fire department and the fire department went to the hospital to see him so he remained active and involved and very dedicated right up to the end," said Herman Sieker, a retired deputy fire chief, to CTV Edmonton.
In the summer of 2022, Mitchell became regarded as the longest serving firefighter in Canada. This is a record that Herman Sieker believes does not believe will be broken any time soon.
"He was recognized by the Canadian Fire Chiefs Association, the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association and the Canadian Volunteer Firefighters Association," said Sieker. "It just meant so much to him he couldn’t even express how much it meant to himself."
America´s longest serving firefighter served for more than 80 years
In 2015, America´s longest serving firefighter John Doster Sr. passed away at age 95 after an even longer period of service, according to an article on LewittownNow.com.
Aside from taking a few years off to fight the Nazi’s in North Africa during World War II, Doster had been a stable presence at the Edgely Fire Company since he joined at age 15.
“...he ran circles around men half his age. His history of service as a volunteer is unparalleled. He was the epitome of consistency, competency, and courtesy,” Acting Bristol Township Chief of Police Ralph Johnson said.
“The standard he set as a gentlemen and a volunteer is an example to all emergency service responders.”
In 2008, Doster was awarded the National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC) Lifetime Achievement Award for his service. It’s the not the first award he has received. Following an injury in World War II, he received a Purple Heart from the government and has been honored with many firefighting-related awards throughout his distinguished career.