It's been four years since the passing of East Pierce Fire & Rescue Chief Dan Packer, who died fighting a wildfire in California. Time may have passed but he has not been forgotten.
As in past years, the fire department observed the anniversary respectfully and quietly. At 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, on-duty and off-duty East Pierce personnel and their families assembled at the flag pole at their respective stations.
FireComm toned all of the East Pierce stations with a brief message in honor of Chief Packer. Personnel saluted as the flag was lowered to half staff, and then observed a moment of silence in honor of Chief Packer and all fire service personnel who have lost their lives in the performance of their duties.
Packer was killed on July 26, 2008. The 49-year-old chief had just begun a two-week assignment as a division supervisor overseeing wildland firefighters in the Klamath National Forest when the blaze suddenly blew up during a routine survey of the area.
“Always remember that the agency that we are all privileged to be members of exists in large part due to the vision and hard work of Chief Packer. For those of us who worked for him, respected him and loved him, his spirit lives on in each of us," said East Pierce Deputy Chief John McDonald. "Let each of us make sure that the vision he set forth for us as individuals and as an organization lives on and that his memory never fades."