After 41 years, firefighter Swendenborg is retiring

Frank Swedenborg

Frank Swedenborg became a volunteer firefighter for the Cannon Beach Fire District in 1978. His official retirement is this Saturday, after 41 years of service.

Swedenborg said he became a volunteer firefighter “because if you live in a community, especially a small community, you should participate in that community in some manner. And the way I could participate is through being a volunteer firefighter.”

Garry Smith, president of the Cannon Beach Rural Protection Fire District Board of Directors, was a fellow firefighter with Swedenborg for 31 years. He said Swedenborg started as a basic firefighter and ultimately became the assistant chief, also serving as a certified emergency medical technician.

“(Frank) was absolutely adamant that if he was in town, you could count on him to show up for a call,” Smith said. “People were amazed at the number of calls he came to. He spent untold hours helping the people in the community.

“It always gave Frank and I a huge sense of accomplishment to be able to help people in need,” he said.

Swedenborg will announce his retirement during the district’s annual awards dinner on Saturday.

Swedenborg said, “We have a very positive relationship between the people of Cannon Beach and the fire department of Cannon Beach. I think the camaraderie between the members of the fire department is a very strong relationship and has been for years and years…

“It’s a great organization to belong to.”

As for what prompted his retirement, “It makes it hard to respond (to calls) because of the distance from Astoria, where (his wife, Valerie, and he) are now living.”

Brian Smith is a volunteer firefighter and a lieutenant in the Cannon Beach Fire District. “Frank (has) always been the kind of guy that kept us together… He’s been there forever,” Smith said.

“He has always been the voice of reason… He was the guy everybody kind of listened to… He’s been kind of the model for a volunteer. He’s kind of done it all and seen it all.”

When Swedenborg retires, it will leave a void that will take a “group effort” to fill, Smith said.


Online Poll

Whit the upcoming special district election, are you currently happy with our local government leaders?

You voted:

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.