Community celebrates fire chief’s service

Bob Felker has served in fire department for 34 years

Lac la Hache Volunteer Fire Department fire chief Terry Murphy presented retiring Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department fire chief Bob Felker with a plaque at the Forest Grove Community Hall on April 12.

Lac la Hache Volunteer Fire Department fire chief Terry Murphy presented retiring Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department fire chief Bob Felker with a plaque at the Forest Grove Community Hall on April 12.

By Doris E Rufli

About 60 people as well as representatives of police, ambulance and fire departments throughout the South Cariboo assembled at the Forest Grove Community Hall on April 12 to celebrate Bob Felker’s retirement from the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department (FGVFD) after 34 years of service.

Opening the evening’s proceedings, Lac la Hache fire chief Terry Murphy handed Bob Felker a plaque to retire his FGVFD badge.

Cariboo Regional District (CRD) Area H Director Margo Wagner presented the outgoing fire chief with a plaque from the provincial government recognizing 34 years of service in Forest Grove, a letter and certificate provided by Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett, and a service award by Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod.

CRD Protective Services manager Rowena Bastien gave Felker a retirement gift from the CRD board – a beautiful painting of the fire chief in full uniform with his wife, Colleen, in remembrance of his firefighting days.

This was followed by the introduction of the new Forest Grove fire chief Aron Zablotny who exchanged fire chief helmets with Felker. Zablotny received a portrait of Felker, which will be mounted at the fire hall.

Finally, 100 Mile House Fire Rescue chief Roger Hollander and Bob Brown – Felker’s former deputy chief of 14 years – thanked Felker for all his contributions to the department and the community.

A standing ovation for Felker and the cutting of a beautiful and delicious cake ended the central part of the evening.

The second reason for this gathering was to recruit firefighters and first responders within Forest Grove and especially the Canim Lake area, without which one or possibly both fire halls may have to be closed.

Anyone interested is welcome to attend one of the weekly training sessions at fire hall 1 (4518 Canim-Hendrix Lake Road) every Monday evening at 7 p.m. For more information, contact the fire hall at 250-397-2122.

Doris E Rufli is the correspondent for Forest Grove.