Two leaders in the Alberni Valley firefighting community have retired after decades of service.
Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Department’s (BCVFD) fire chief is retiring after 36 years with the department. Charlie Starratt was recognized during a Wednesday, Nov. 27 Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) board meeting. Starratt has been fire chief for 27 years.
“Charlie has been the absolute best chief ever,” said Beaver Creek director John McNabb. “I’ve been doing this for eight years and what I really appreciate is the level of professionalism, the rapport that he has with the members and the rapport that he has with the board.”
The ACRD announced late Thursday, Jan. 23 that Mike Kobus has been appointed fire chief for the BCVFD for a three-year term. Kobus has been with the fire department since 1992, the last 12 years serving as deputy fire chief.
“It’s been a pleasure to serve the community and my members,” said Starratt. “We’ve got a great crew out there so I’m leaving on a high note. They’ve tried to cajole me into staying longer,” he added with a laugh.
BCVFD celebrated its 40th anniversary last year. Starratt was the third fire chief for Beaver Creek.
But Starratt isn’t the only firefighter celebrating retirement. Captain Ed Francoeur, of the Port Alberni Fire Department, also retired in 2019 after 27 years with the department.
“Cpt. Francoeur joined PAFD on June 16th, 1992. Over the past 27 years, he has served his community with pride and has assisted many in their time of need,” the Port Alberni Fire Department posted on its Facebook page. “Tonight we congratulate you on your retirement.”