RCAF Firefighter Celebrates 102nd Birthday

Ex-RCAF firefighter Cliff Provo at an earlier birthday party
Publication Date 
22 Sep 2020

On 23 September 2020, Firefighter Cliff Provo of White Rock, BC will be 102 years old.  Cliff was one of the original Royal Canadian Air Force Firefighters having completed Firefighter Course #1 in 1940.  

Cliff was born to a grain-farming family outside of Humboldt, SK. He is a third-generation Canadian. He has three daughters (Linda, Connie and Cynthia), six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He spent 25 years as a firefighter with the RCAF, a job that he got offered through a chance encounter. He was selling soda at a canteen when a suppler dropped by and offered him an extra 24 pops to sell on the side. “Shortly after, the officer came to pick up the money. I told him that a guy gave me an extra 24.He said, "you’re such an honest man. I’ve been looking for a firefighter that’s honest, would you like to be?” Provo accepted the offer.

“He said, you go to the fire hall. I’ll phone that you’re coming. I went to the fire hall and it was beautiful.” Walking into that fire hall for the first time, Provo said, is one of his cherished memories. “I walked in the fire hall and everything looked so nice and spotless. I was glad to be a firefighter.”

Provo retired from the air force in 1968 and got a job “right away” as a prison guard at a now-closed correctional facility in Nordegg, AB where he worked for a dozen years.