Former chief passes away

Frank Ryan served as Mission’s fire chief for 14 years before retiring in 2009. He passed away Monday after a battle with cancer. Among Ryan’s many achievements during his career

Frank Ryan served as Mission’s fire chief for 14 years before retiring in 2009. He passed away Monday after a battle with cancer. Among Ryan’s many achievements during his career

One of Mission’s former fire chiefs has passed away after a battle with cancer.

Frank Ryan served Mission Fire/Rescue Service as chief for 14 years, from 1995 until 2009 when he became ill, said current chief, Ian Fitzpatrick.

Ryan was born and raised in Newfoundland and after high school, signed up with the Canadian Armed Forces in 1970, working as a firefighter in the Air Force.

He eventually became a firefighting instructor and left the military after 11 years to work as a fire prevention officer in Alberta.

In 1986 Ryan and his family moved to Hinton, Alta. where he took up post as fire chief, guiding that department until leaving in 1995 for Mission.

Ryan was instrumental in helping the local fire department evolve, said Fitzpatrick, and drafted the master plan which saw the introduction of the district’s first full-time firefighters.

Fitzpatrick came to Mission in 2007 and learned a lot from Ryan.

“Frank was a great chief and had lots of respect for everyone in the fire service. He was a good teacher, and I couldn’t have asked for a better chief to train under,” he said.

Ryan died April 4. He leaves behind his wife, Laurie, and four adult children. A full fire department funeral will be held April 16. A procession will precede the service, which begins at the Clarke Theatre at 1 p.m.

Any donations for the family can be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.