Community members are rallying around a veteran fire prevention and education officer and his family after learning he was no longer in remission from his cancer diagnosis.
Robert Callahan, affectionately known around the community as Fireman Bob, was original diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early 2020. He went through chemotherapy and radiation treatment and finally an extensive surgery. He recovered well and appeared to be in remission. Almost over night the cancer returned and spread to his liver and other organs to a point it no longer treatable.
Fireman Bob serves as the fire prevention and education officer for Bossier Fire Dist. 1. He develops programs and delivers them to all of the elementary schools in the Haughton area. He conducts programs at Preschools, Day cares, Libraries, and local businesses. Upon request he conducts home safety inspections and installs smoke detectors.
Fireman Bob also coordinates an annual fire and life safety open house, summer time water safety program, and Halloween safety event.
In addition to his fire prevention duties, Fireman Bob volunteers as a training and safety adviser for small departments in Webster parish. He serves as an adjunct instructor for the LUS Fire and Emergency Training Institute and the National Fire Academy.
“Bob is an icon at all of the schools, any child that attended an elementary school in Haughton for the last 15 years knows Fireman Bob. He has planted the seed of fire safety in hundreds of children,” said Robert Roe, Haughton Fire Chief.
After hearing the devastating news of Fireman Bob’s diagnosis, Eastwood Baptist Child Care in Haughton held a Fireman Bob Day. The kids made cards and banners stating how they loved him.
In June, State Fire Marshal Butch Browning surprised Bob by presenting him with a life time achievement award for his years of service to the community.
In addition to the community showing him how much he means to them, Fireman Bob’s fellow co-workers came together to make a dream he had into a reality for Fireman Bob and his wife.
“One of the things Bob had stated he would still like to do is attend a Major League Baseball game at Fenway Park to watch the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees play. Some of the firemen took it upon themselves and contacted both teams and management of Fenway Park. They arranged for Bob and his wife to attend a three games series with seats directly under the press box and presented them each with game balls. The firemen also special ordered jerseys for both of them to wear at the games,” Roe said.
“Bob is truly a hometown hero. He is respected and loved by the entire community,” he added.