A well-known Malahat firefighter passed away on Monday morning.
Malahat Fire Chief Rob Patterson, 53, who had been with the fire hall for about 20 years, was an outspoken advocate for improved safety measures on the highway.
Patterson was found on his ATV and it is believed he suffered a massive heart attack.
He was never shy about expressing his opinion on highway conditions and drivers’ habits over the Malahat stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway.
He was also very active on Twitter with updates, and his latest post was on Sunday night.
Turkey n' all the fixn's. Mmmn I love turkey. pic.twitter.com/mu4sDtueSg
— Rob Patterson (@malahatfire) January 2, 2017
Patterson’s wife Tanya is the Deputy Chief of the Malahat Volunteer Fire Department. His sons, Nick and Cameron, have also served with the department.
Rob’s son, Cameron Patterson, told Victoria Buzz the family appreciates people showing how much Rob meant to them and would love to hear more stories and see photos they have of Rob.
“He was a great teacher, father, husband, and mentor. I know he’d like us to remember the good times, what he’s taught us all and to take that knowledge and pass it on. He will be missed, but his legacy will last forever,” Cameron wrote on Facebook.
A GoFundme account has been set up by two brothers, Cody and Kyle Tetley, who are long-time family friends.
“Rob Patterson was a father and husband. Most knew him as Chief of the Malahat volunteer fire department. He has always been heavily involved in the hall and community, and being there to lend a hand to anyone that needed it,” read a message on the GoFudme page.
The online fundraiser was launched to help cover funeral costs and get family members like Patterson’s son home for the service.
“We are asking for anyone who can donate to their family in their time hour of need. We need to get Cam Rob’s son home to his family, hope to help lift the cost of the funeral, along easing financial burdens and enabling them to take time off work to cope with their loss of a loved one,” the message on Gofundme continues.
It had raised more than $5,570 as of Tuesday afternoon.