Skip to content

B.C. town mourns death of North America’s longest-serving fire chief

Okanagan Falls fire chief Bob Haddow retired 5 years ago after 50 years of service
Longtime Okanagan Falls fire chief Bob Haddow died in April 2024 at the age of 82. (Photo- Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department/Facebook)

Former Okanagan Falls fire chief Bob Haddow, who served in his role for 50 years, has died. He was 82.

According to a family statement, the longtime fire chief died peacefully on April 3.

Haddow joined the Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department when he was 20 years old. Five years later, in 1967, he was named chief.

He served in that role until his retirement in 2017, holding the distinction of being North America’s longest-serving fire chief.

Haddow oversaw several milestones in Okanagan Falls during his time as fire chief, including playing a key role in ensuring the department’s success in constructing a new hall in 1994.

In a statement released by the Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department, Haddow also coordinated responses to notable incidents like the 2003 Vaseux Lake Fire.

“The members of the Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department were his pride and joy,” representatives from the department said. “Chief Haddow believed in training, taking courses to improve members’ skills, and was most proud when group pictures were taken of all members in their uniform, which hang in the fire hall today.”

Haddow was born in Edmonton and moved to Penticton when he was a teenager, according to his family.

After joining the Okanagan Falls department, the longtime chief served as an executive on the Volunteer Firefighters Association of BC.

“All members of the Okanagan Falls Fire Department, both past and present, extend their condolences to Chief Haddow’s family,” the statement continues. “A celebration of life will be held in the near future.”

READ MORE: B.C. airline adds more summer flights between Penticton, Vancouver

About the Author: Logan Lockhart

Read more

Secondary Title