Flags around the West Shore area are at half-mast today as the City of Colwood mourns the sudden passing of its fire chief, John Cassidy on Wednesday.

In a media release, the city said the Colwood Fire Department along with BC Ambulance Services responded to a medical emergency call on June 23rd, and provided care for the Fire Chief who later died in hospital.

Cassidy was described as a highly respected leader, colleague, husband, father, and friend.

“This is a tremendous loss for our community. We are so deeply saddened by John’s passing,” said Colwood Mayor Rob Martin.

“We hold John’s family in our thoughts as we come together as a community to support the close-knit team of staff and volunteer firefighters he led and the many, many people who will feel this loss deeply,” said Martin.

“Chief Cassidy’s contributions to the health, safety and quality of life of the people of Colwood during his 22 years of dedicated service are countless,” the release read.

Acting Fire Chief Greg Chow will take over the leadership of the fire detachment.

The View Royal and Langford fire departments banded together on Wednesday to ensure fire rescue services to the community were uninterrupted, as Colwood firefighters supported each other during the “shock and grief” of Chief Cassidy’s passing.

“Chief Cassidy was held in the highest regard by the staff and volunteers of the Colwood Fire Department, the firefighting community throughout the province and all who had the honour of knowing him,” said Acting Fire Chief Greg Chow.

“As we grieve together and support each other through this loss, we know that Chief Cassidy would want us to focus on continuing to provide exceptional fire rescue services to the community he was dedicated to serving. That is how we can best honour his memory at this difficult time.”

Flags are at half-mast at the Colwood Fire Hall, Colwood City Hall, West Shore RCMP and fire departments around the region in Chief Cassidy’s honour.

The City of Colwood said plans for memorial services will be shared as information becomes available.

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