With its black sheen, gold lettering and state-of-the-art tools, the newest addition to the Comox Fire Department carries more than just firefighting equipment.
It now carries the name of former fire chief Frank Grogan, who presided over the department for 12 years.
“Frank served our community from 1974 to 1986 when he was forced to leave the fire department because of a health issue,” said current fire chief Gord Schreiner during a dedication ceremony last Friday at the Comox Fire Department.
“Frank was very unique in many ways. He was a positive person in terms of training firefighters, and to this day this fire department plays a strong role in training, and I credit that to Frank,” he added.
Former staff members, family, members of Comox council and members of the public gathered during the afternoon ceremony to listen to stores and tour the newest member of the fleet, which Schreiner describes as “full of innovations.”
He notes the design of the truck began about two years ago, and mirrors the theme found in the department’s uniforms.
“We felt that this big of a truck all while (similar to their other trucks) just didn’t look right. Our firefighters eventually came up with the black colour, and our firefighters have been wearing black uniforms for many years in Comox, and black seems to be a theme that we’ve had,” Schreiner said.
Lawrence Burns, Comox Valley Fire Department chaplain and former fire chief, recalled his connection he had with Grogan.
“Frank meant so much to me when we were both fire chiefs, when he retired we continued that friendship … he really was a great friend,” he noted. “When he was being interviewed for the job, the only quote from the interviewing committee was that he was too qualified and might just move on. But that didn’t happen, and he stayed right here until the end.”
Burns described Grogan as faithful, encouraging and compassionate.
“He was so supportive. He encouraged the young people. So many of the young recruits, he encouraged them to go on. He was compassionate in all of his dealings,” noted Burns.
“What an effect that Frank’s life has had on so many. In his death, he was the same — to be remembered as a fire chief.”
Comox mayor Paul Ives acknowledged Grogan’s commitment to the fire department, adding a new truck will be added to the department’s fleet about every seven years.