Bend Fire and Rescue mourns death of longtime volunteer
Mar 30,2009 00:00 by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources

“Steve (Skaggs) was always there when you needed him and you could count on him to help out to the very end.” … Dan Derlacki, Deputy Fire Marshal

BEND, Ore. – In a heartfelt statement issued today, the Bend Fire and Rescue Department announced the passing of longtime volunteer, Steve Skaggs, who died in his home in Deschutes River Woods Thursday morning at the age of 51. He volunteered with the Bend Fire Department from 1983 to 1986, and from 1991 to the present.


“Steve will be sorely missed here at the fire department not only for his time spent as a fire fighter and volunteer, but as well the friend we have all lost too soon,” … Dan Derlacki, Deputy Fire Marshal 

Skaggs served in the Army from 1979 to 1983 when he was honorably discharged as a Specialist 4 - Medic.  After his discharge, he served another 16 years with the Oregon National Guard as a Sergeant.

The majority of his volunteer efforts during the past five years was spent assisting the Fire Prevention Division with Public Education Events, most recently the Code Ready Program campaign.  Firefighter Skaggs assisted in the 4th of July in the Park, Cascade Children’s Festival, FireFree, Open Houses and many, many more departmental events.  During these events, if a fire truck was present you could always find Firefighter Skaggs nearby -- he was the one lifting the children in and out of the fire truck, familiarizing them with it and educating them on what to do in a fire.

Steve was always asking when he could help again or what event was up next so he could try and work his professional schedule around it. He was always there when you needed him and you could count on him to help out to the very end.  He was a man with ease and friendliness for all, ever ready with a smile and hardy handshake.  Steve was always a presence in the department, a presence that is already dearly missed. 

Services with full fire and military honors are planned for 11 a.m., Friday, April 3, at the Deschutes Memorial Gardens located at 63875 N. Highway 97.

He is survived by his siblings, nieces and nephews.

The family has asked that any donations or contributions be presented to the Bend Fire Department’s Community Assistance Fund in Steve’s honor. For more information about the fund, please contact the Bend Fire Department at 541-322-6300.