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50 fire years: West Side honors veteran Nickelsen

The West Side Fire Department will honor Bob Nickelsen for 50 years of service at the department's annual awards dinner Dec. 8. The event begins at 7 p.m. at the Rockford Fire Station.

Nickelsen joined the West Side Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter in 1951, at the age of 23, and has been with the department ever since. From 1961 through 1980 he served as fire chief. For the past 20 years he has served as an elected member of the West Side Fire District board of directors, and he continues to be an active volunteer firefighter.

"It's 50 years of continuous volunteer service that we're recognizing," said Jim Trammell, West Side fire marshal, adding that the half-century of service Nickelsen has provided is "rarely" seen.During Nickelsen's tenure as chief, he was instrumental in securing a government grant needed to build a second fire station on Tucker Road. It was also under his watch that the fire department began dispatching "first responders" with the Hood River Ambulance Service.

In honor of Nickelsen's service, Rep. Greg Walden has written an announcement to be submitted into the Congressional Record. "It is my great honor to laud Bob Nickelsen for his years of dedicated public service," Walden's announcement said, "his numerous contributions to the community and for his character as a citizen of Hood River." The state fire marshal also will attend the tribute to Nickelsen.

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