A FORMER Thornhill fire chief who helped build up the department passed away last weekend.
Art Hill, who served as Thornhill fire chief from the 1997 until 2005, passed away March 26.
Wes Patterson, who served as deputy fire chief under Hill for several years before taking over as fire chief in 2005, said Hill did a lot to expand the fire department.
“He was a big part of the Thornhill Fire Department for a lot of years,” said Patterson earlier today.
Hill had more than 30 years of experience with the fire department and did a lot of training and mentoring, said Patterson, adding he learned a lot from Hill.
Hill was involved with all aspects of the fire department, including rope training and pump training, said Patterson.
Hill was an electrician by trade and worked throughout the area, including working for cablevision for a number of years, and recently worked up at the airport, said Patterson.
“He was passionate about his family,” said Patterson about Hill.
“He enjoyed his trade. He was very good at his trade as an electrician and the fire department, and he was slow to anger, very calm, cool, collected, which is exactly what you want for a fire chief and he was willing to share his knowledge.”
Hill and his wife Pauline had three sons and a daughter, said Patterson, adding that Pauline passed away last fall.
Hill had undergone quintuple bypass surgery recently and spent a month-and-a-half in intensive care, said Patterson.
A celebration for Hill is being planned, possibly for next week.
This story has been updated with corrections added.