HALLSTEAD, Pa (WNEP) — Members of the Hallstead Fire Company said a final goodbye to one of their own Saturday.
Black bunting hung on the front end of firetrucks as they made their way through Hallstead. Firefighters stood, remembering Chief Robert Thatcher, who served as a firefighter for most of his life in the northern tier.
“Devoted family man, family and friends first and foremost, and then the fire company that was his baby,” said David Callender, president of Hallstead Fire Company.
Thatcher recently lost his battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 65.
Thatcher’s firefighting career began as a teenager. He continued to serve for 50 years, 38 of them as chief. Some members at the Hallstead Fire Company follow in his footsteps.
“From being a kid and then when I joined at 14 as a junior, then at 16 when I could actually do calls, it has been amazing the amount of things he has taught us,” said Lt. Chad Sinnett, Hallstead Fire Company.
Sinnett tells Newswatch 16 he will miss the chief’s presence around the firehouse.
“I would say Monday nights are our work nights, and we would always be waiting like, ‘When is Bob getting here? Is he going to walk through the door?’ And I could say that is a big one.”
Fellow firefighters of the Hallstead Fire Company say Thatcher will always be with them in spirit.
“The next time that fire whistle blows or the pager goes off, we will do things the way we always did and just keep right on going. He will always be riding with us.”
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