Former fire chief retired after more than 5 decades of service

He reminisced on the moment he became the fire chief.
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 8:14 PM EDT
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RANDOLPH, W.Va (WDTV) - Long time Tygart Valley Fire Company Chief, Bob Elbon, has stepped down from his position. Elbon served the community for 52 years. He reminisced on the moment he became the fire chief.

“The chief that was here for many years got sick,” Elbon said. “He didn’t tell anyone what his problem was. he came in one meeting night and said, ‘this is it boys, I’m quitting,’ and I said, ‘well, I been here 30-35 years, I’ll just quit with you.’ [The chief at the time] said, ‘no you don’t understand...I’m leaving and you’re staying’ it kind of fell on me and I accepted the responsibility.”

After about 15 years as chief...Elbon announced his retirement after a fall on the job last September. After being treated for his injury, doctors discovered that Elbon had lymphoma. Since then, the former chief has started chemotherapy and has 3 more rounds to complete. His family has gathered around him in his time of need, making the most of every moment they still have with him. As an early Father’s Day gift, his sons gifted him a custom rifle to commemorate his time with the Tygart Valley Fire Company.

“Never thought I’d own anything like that, it’s a collector item, 22 caliber,” Elbon said. “It means an awful lot.”

At 80-years-old, Elbon still holds a captain position with the fire company, and when he gets back on his feet, he plans to make a return to the station. In the meantime, the chief position is staying in the family with Elbon’s great nephew taking on the responsibility.