RIP Chief Dale Chase (ret)

Photo: Bob Cain (1984)

It is with great sadness that I report that Retired Fire Chief Dale Chase died suddenly on May 3rd. Dale was Fire Chief on Hornby Island for several years in the late ’90s. Under his watch, HIFR (then HIVFD) was a vibrant group with a full roster of 30 active members. Chief Chase attracted a crew of young, enthusiastic volunteers and ushered in an era of professionalism not often seen in remote rural departments at the time.

Dale’s knowledge of rope work from his caving experience was a huge asset to the Fire Department. Members learned how to safely conduct rope rescues on an island with many cliffs and terrible rock. The knowledge that Dale passed on has been put to the test many times over the years and there can be no doubt that he was integral in helping make the Hornby Island Fire Rescue the superb organization that it is today.

Rest in Peace, Chief. We’ll take it from here.

3 thoughts on “RIP Chief Dale Chase (ret)”

  1. Dale will be missed by the Owen family. I have considered him a friend for over 30 years. He was always our fathers go-to for tree work and then became a regular at the poker table after that.
    He taught me why a wooden ladder is best when I helped him string phone or cable wires in the 90s.
    He gave me tips on big-bar saw safety that I still rely on.
    When my GF (before marriage) brought him home baking he counselled me to “keep that one” and I did.
    He always had time for a roadside chat. and when he struggled to remember my name there was always his trademark “my man”.
    We played chess (he couldnt beat me) and scrabble (I couldnt beat him).

    Rest in Peace my friend.
    Dave Owen

  2. .
    Dale brought a lot to Everdale and I learned many things from him. In hindsight the shear volume of things is quite surprising.
    He had us repelling off the three storey farm house in preparation for a trip to the Niagara escarpment. We all jumped in his van after a few days practicing on the house. He was also key in teaching wild foraging, maple syrup harvesting from neighbourhood farms, Marijuana growing in our neighbor’s woods, I think it was he who brought Donnie Davidson into lumbering which is what he made his life long career.
    Sad to hear his passing he was a cool dude who was pivotal to many.
    We visited him in 2014. He was camped on his property and rented out his house in the summer. I will never forget seeing his scrabble board. It was the only one I have ever seen the was worn out from use. The mental image is permanent.

  3. I caved with Dale for many years, and learned a lot from him about ropework, caving , and caves in general. He always had a great sense of humor, unless he was trying to quit smoking. Dale’s slant on life was unique, and it was reflected in the way he expressed himself, often from a different and humorous angle. He was a one of a kind; they don’t make many Dales….what a character. The caving community and humanity has lost an icon.

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