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Media Release - Recollections are fond for former Fire Chief

October 6, 2017
Recollections are fond for former Fire Chief
Tall in both physical and professional stature, former Powell River firefighter and Fire Chief Torger Johnson, who died September 30, is remembered as a fine leader.
Johnson, a professional firefighter from 1948 to 1982, was a very popular Fire Chief, said Ray Peters, a former Powell River firefighter who served with Johnson.
“Torger was an all-round nice guy and a character,” Ray said. “I got along with him really well. He was a good firefighter and a good chief. He thought very much of his own men. He was a working man’s boss.”
Chief Terry Peters, current head of Powell River Fire Rescue and son of Ray Peters, said he never worked with Johnson but knew of him well, coming up through the ranks in the fire department.
“I would consider Torger a trailblazer in our department,” Terry said. “Anything I’ve come across as our department grew in its early days that went toward building our reputation had Torger’s name attached to it. He was a colourful individual and had presence. He stood out.”
Dave Ellis, President of International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 1298 in Powell River, said Johnson’s death is a tragic loss to the fire industry.
“He was a long-standing member and did a lot of good for our community as a whole,” Ellis said. “Even as a retiree he was active with the department. He would come out to functions. He was a valued member of the local firefighting community and he will be greatly missed.”
Johnson was a charter member of IAFF Local 1298 when the union local was certified in 1958. He received his first promotion in 1969 and served as Fire Chief from 1973 until his retirement.
Terry said that as Fire Chief, Johnson laid the foundation for a good department. Johnson was also well known and well-regarded in fire departments outside of Powell River, where he forged relationships with other groups of firefighters.
“Torger was building relationships back in the early days that exist to present day,” Terry said.
“He also worked hard to ensure his community was protected. When people go to bed at night, knowing there is a very good fire service in place, Torger blazed that trail to make it happen.”
Terry said there was very good leadership before his realm as a Chief and it is “my intention to build on that platform.”
For more information, contact:
Chief Terry Peters
(604) 485-4431




Event date: 
Friday, October 6, 2017 - 10:45am


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