Fitting farewell for retiring firefighter - at a fire
By Jennifer Saltman - Staff Reporter
Capt. Klaus Kahle had been looking forward to Thursday for a long time.
Oct. 27 was his last shift before retiring after 30 years as a Coquitlam firefighter. Kahle, who became a firefighter in 1976, has been with Coquitlam for his whole career and was most recently stationed at the Mariner fire hall at Mariner Way and Como Lake Avenue.
However, Kahle's sendoff was somewhat unique.
When a firefighter retires he or she is taken on a retirement drive-by - the retiree is taken to each fire hall in the city, where firefighters come out and line up on the tarmac to shake hands and say their farewells.
"It's kind of a nice sendoff for a guy that's retiring," Kahle said Thursday morning. "It was quite enjoyable, something I was looking forward to."
But because of a fire early Thursday morning, many firefighers weren't at their halls.
"As luck would have it, because of the fire last night, a number of the individuals were at the fire on Schoolhouse," Kahle said.
So instead of hitting all of the fire halls in Coquitlam, Kahle was driven to the scene of the fire at 115 Schoolhouse St. to receive his sendoff.
The fire was nearly out by the time he arrived, so firefighters were able to stop, line up and say their farewells.
published on 10/28/2005