By Greg Jordan
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, Va. — Town officials announced Monday during a press conference that the chief of the Bluefield, Va. Fire Department had passed away on New Year's Eve.
"It is with great sadness, and a heavy heart, that the Bluefield, Va. Fire Department and the town of Bluefield, Va. announces the passing of our long standing chief, Jim Hardy, on the evening of Dec. 31, (2017)," Mayor Don Harris said during a press conference at Bluefield, Va. Town Hall.
"With over 65 years of service, Chief Hardy has truly dedicated his life to the fire service and continuing improvement of our fire department," Harris said. "His legacy will live on while we begin to pay our final respects to our fallen leader."
Service arrangements were incomplete Monday, and will be announced at a later date.
Harris said he had known Hardy personally for many years.
"I knew Jim for over 65 years and as such, as a youngster, I was involved with him when he was racing cars," Harris recalled. "Jim has been a person who has given to the community his entire life from the age whatever on up till the present. His mother was my fourth-grade school teacher. And Jim and I over the years, and with our fellow council members, really brought our fire department to the forefront. Jim was an excellent trainer and he was highly respected by all his firemen."
Under Hardy's leadership, the Bluefield, Va. Fire Department became "absolutely the best in Southwest Virginia if not the Commonwealth of Virginia. Again, this is a volunteer fire department," Harris said.
Copyright 2017 Bluefield Daily Telegraph
McClatchy-Tribune News Service