Lamont County is mourning the loss of their longest-serving firefighter.
Robert 'Bob' Mitchell, who joined the Lamont Fire Department at the age of 18 as one of its founding members in 1951, passed away earlier this week at the age of 90.
His start with the fire department was by chance.
"I guess there was a big fire in Lamont, and they didn't even have a fire department back then so they asked him at 18 if he would consider joining the fire department, they were going to make one, and he did," said Koreen Mitchell, Robert's daughter.
A man of dedication, Mitchell served with the department for an astounding 72 years, making him the longest-serving firefighter in Canadian history.
"It's almost hard to put into words what he meant to us," said Scott Calder, the district chief for the Lamont Fire Department.
"It's a huge loss for us not seeing him, not having him there, not being able to joke around with him, hear stories, and talk about some of our experiences together."
According to Koreen, that was just who he was as a person.
"He loved his friends, Lamont, and the fire department," said Koreen. "He would do anything for the fire department."
Being a volunteer firefighter throughout his entire life, Robert also helped to run 'Mitchell's Garage' a family-owned business founded by his father.
"I can talk to so many people on the street or in the grocery store who all bought a car from him at some point," laughed Koreen. "He is very well known to a lot of people through the garage and the fire department."
The retirement age in Canada is set at 65, but that didn't seem to matter to Mitchell as he made sure to be an active member of the department all the way up until his passing.
"Even after Bob had stepped away from active firefighting duty he was always at practice," said Calder. "The only time he ever missed training was if he was hunting and away or he was sick at home or something like that."
"Bob had near-perfect attendance, as far as I know, for his entire career at the Lamont Fire Department."
True to that, Koreen says that her father always made sure nobody called him Tuesday nights, as he would attend the department's weekly meeting.
"He was just really dedicated," said Koreen. "He loved doing the fireman job and loved all the camaraderie he had with the guys and girls."
A funeral for Mitchell will take place on Tuesday (May 2) at Lamont Hall at 2 p.m. with members of the public invited to pay their respects.