Community loses beloved, longtime firefighter

Harry Moore served the district for more than 40 years, training and inspiring others

Saturday, Nov. 25 — Florence native Harry Moore passed away on Nov. 18, 2017, after a long battle with cancer at the age of 64 years old.

Moore was a longtime member of the Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue District, having served with distinction for more than 40 years.

He began his tenure as a volunteer officer in 1971 and served in numerous capacities at SVFR, retiring from paid duty in 2013.

Moore was a mentor and friend to many younger firefighters during this time, working with and training individuals who are now current members of SVFR — many in leadership positions.

One of those who had the opportunity to work closely with Moore is SVFR recruitment and Retention officer, Pete Warren.

“Harry was the guy who who made the department a better and safer place. He was that one guy whom everybody, not just a few, but all would either say out loud or think, ‘I better not screw up’ or ‘Harry will find out,’” Warren said, “Well, we all knew what that meant.

“Harry left our firefighter family way too soon and will always live in the hearts of our department.”

Many community members have had the good fortune to work with Moore over the years, spending quality time with the friendly, outgoing man.

One of the individuals that had the opportunity to get to know the character and good intentions of Moore was former SVFR member and paid department captain Brian Jagoe, who spoke fondly of the man that he knew and considered a close friend. 

“He gave his heart and soul to our community, first as a volunteer firefighter and then as the first career firefighter. Not only responding to emergencies but maintaining six fire stations, their equipment and, most importantly, the hands-on training of all the volunteer firefighters that have served Florence,” Jagoe said. “Harry was always the one you could call when something wasn’t working or running. You would often hear around the fire department, ‘Harry said...’ and that was enough — it was the rule, policy and the way it needed to be.”

One of the recurring themes among Moore’s friend and colleagues was his attention to detail and making sure that things were done right.

When Moore was working with younger, less experienced members of the SVFR, he would often comment on the need for proper techniques during a deployment, but also taking the time to properly maintain the equipment used by firefighters in the course of their work, according to Jagoe.

“His pride in the department showed every day. Not because it was his job but because it was the right thing to do. I don’t know how many times our stations or equipment was complemented by visitors. Harry not only took care of the equipment like it was his own he demanded that his firefighters did the same,” Jagoe said.

A memorial celebration of the life of  Moore will be held today, Nov. 25, at 1 p.m., at the Community Baptist Church, 4590 Highway 101.

Arrangements are being handled by Burns Riverside Chapel and Funeral home.

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