Known and adored by many, former Central Saanich Fire Department Assistant Chief Forrest Owens is being honoured by the community.
Owens died peacefully at home on July 21.
He joined the department in 1986 and served more than 35 years as a volunteer firefighter, captain and assistant chief. After retiring from his career position, he continued as an active call assistant chief.
“Forrest was someone who was always there to help, he was kind, generous and was a rock for our department,” Deputy Chief Stacey Lee said in a statement. “He was a true legend in the fire service and our community and it’s never been more evident than with the recent outpouring of love for Forrest to his family and our department.”
Owens was a leader in the department, advocating for mental health awareness for emergency responders, being a key component in training other firefighters and leading the community’s prevention and inspection program for many years.
“Forrest’s contributions to the community have had a lasting impact,” added Mayor Ryan Windsor. “He will be greatly missed.”
It is with heavy hearts that we share the details of the service for our Assistant Chief Forrest Owens. Please join us. #RestEasy #hugelosstoourdepartment #hugelosstoourcommunity #CSaan https://t.co/Bcxd0fDjbZ
— Central Saanich Fire (@CSaanichFire) August 3, 2022
Not only known and respected as a firefighter, Owens was an avid fisherman, a dedicated coach in hockey and lacrosse, and served on several boards and committees.
The public is invited to join the district in celebrating Owens’ life and career on Sunday, Aug. 14 at the Saanich Fairgrounds. A procession will arrive at the fairgrounds at approximately 1 p.m. after leaving Stelly’s Secondary School at noon, so the district recommends arriving from West Saanich Road.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Forrest Owens Memorial Scholarship, care of the Central Saanich Volunteer Firefighters Association. The scholarship is being established for local youth pursuing a career in firefighting.
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