Chancellor's Community Recognition Award
Bob Beckett is the City of Langford’s fire chief, responsible for the provision of all fire protection and rescue services in the West Shore community. He is also the municipality’s emergency program co-ordinator.
Beckett began his career as a firefighter in 1974 with the City of Waterloo in Ontario and came to Langford Fire Rescue in 1996 after serving as fire chief for four years in the City of Terrace and, before that, as fire chief for two years in Maidstone Township near Tecumseh, Ontario.
After terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in September 11, 2001, Beckett traveled to New York – with Mayor Stu Young and RCMP Staff Sgt. Bruce Brown – to extend condolences to the community of Freeport, New York and to deliver money raised on the West Shore to help families of Americans lost in the tragedy.
Motivated by the tragic event, Beckett also became involved – from the very beginning – with Project Can-S.A.F.E. (Canadians Sending Afghanistan Firefighting Equipment), a cooperative effort between Rotary Clubs, the Canadian Military and the City of Langford/Langford Fire Rescue.
In 2004, he helped deliver firefighting training to Kabul firefighters following the arrival of donated equipment from Canada and, in 2007, Langford Fire Rescue sent another shipment of equipment to departments in Kabul and Kandahar.
In 2008, Beckett and Langford Fire Rescue hosted a delegation of firefighters from Afghanistan. The visitors received various training opportunities, attended community events and were able to return to Afghanistan with some new equipment.
Beckett regularly visits classrooms in the region; participates in numerous meetings and events to promote community aid projects; and, for the past three years, has been chair of the Walter Gretzky CNIB Golf Classic.
With assistance from the fire department and the West Shore Chamber of Commerce, he also played a key role in establishing Langford’s now much-anticipated Santa Claus parade.
Beckett is the recipient of several awards. In 1998, he was presented with a Fire Service Exemplary Service Medal from the federal government and, in 2003, he earned the Queen`s Golden Jubilee Medal; the Volunteer of the Year Award from the West Shore Chamber of Commerce; and the Rotary International Paul Harris award. In 2005, he received a Victoria Leadership award for his community and international humanitarian efforts.
Beckett holds an MA in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University (2000) and graduated with a Diploma in Ambulance and Emergency Care from Conestoga College of Applied Arts and Technology in 1979.