Former Victoria fire chief, city councillor dies at 99

Former Victoria fire chief, city councillor dies at 99

Eric Simmons remembered as ‘vigorous, engaged’ community member

A former fire chief and city councillor is being remembered by Victoria’s community leaders.

Eric Simmons, who died at 99 years old, fought in Second World War, and upon returning home, became a firefighter at the Victoria Fire Department in 1946.

Simmons served as chief from 1967 to 1980 before serving 10 years as a Victoria city councillor. He retired in 1990.

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In a statement, current chief Paul Bruce says he will remember the longtime public servant as a “vigorous, engaged and distinguished community member.”

“It was always very satisfying to share news of the department with him and to receive his comments on issues with the community and, importantly, with the well-being of the department,” Bruce says. “He remained engaged and inquisitive to the very end.”

While a councillor, Simmons was involved in a number of community groups, including the Fire Chiefs Association of British Columbia, British Columbia Professional Firefighters Association, Silver Threads, Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities and a member of the Uplands Golf Club.

Simmons helped to create the Victoria Firefighters Historical Society in 1990 and was an active member of the group. In 2017 an award was established in his honour – every year the Eric Simmons Community Service Award is given to a member of the Victoria Fire Department who demonstrates “outstanding service” and promotion of firefighters’ role in the community.

The City of Victoria says Simmons was a “devoted husband” to his wife, Anne, who passed away in October. He also had a son and two granddaughters.

Funeral and recognition service details have not yet been announced.

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nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

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