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Magazine founder Rocky Campbell dies

April 30, 2013, Toronto - The founder of Canadian Firefighter and EMS Quarterly magazine, Lorne “Rocky” Campbell, died Friday at the age of 87.

April 30, 2013 
By Olivia D'Orazio

April 30, 2013, Toronto – The founder of Canadian Firefighter and EMS Quarterly magazine, Lorne “Rocky” Campbell, died Friday at the age of 87.

Rocky was well known in the fire service for his product evaluations and recommendations that ran in The Canadian Firefighter, which was originally a bilingual publication distributed in Canada and other countries.

The magazine was acquired by Annex Business Media in 1998 and was renamed Canadian Firefighter and EMS Quarterly in April 1999. Rocky remained as editor until the spring of 2000.

VFIS of Canada regional manager Kip Cosgrove said Tuesday that Rocky was an innovator in the fire-service publishing world.


“He made sure that those products that were represented in his magazine were tried and tested so that his readers would know they could rely on them,” Cosgrove said.
“His dedication to the Canadian fire service went beyond just selling a magazine. Protecting and informing those who ‘rode the back of the tailboard’ was his passion.”
Indeed, Cosgrove said, when VFIS came to Canada in 1991 and wanted to advertise in the magazine, Rocky set the bar high.

“Being an insurance provider, it was tough to meet the actual physical demands that Lorne required of manufacturers wanting to advertise in his magazine,” Cosgrove said.

“In order to prove to his readers that we were a legit company, we had to show him documents of our claims process and claims paid over the years. He actually phoned claimants to see about the service they received from our company, which made me realize how dedicated he was to his readership. He was one of a kind.”

Don King, president of SafeDesign Apparel, called Campbell the Don Cherry of the fire service.

"He championed firefighter safety and supported the Canadian fire service in his magazine with his sometimes infamous editorials," King said. "He was straightforward and candid."

King said Campbell's contribution to the fire service extended far beyond his writing.

"Playing Santa Claus for years at York hospitals, donating his restored LaFrance in many parades . . . he was a firefighter's firefighter, a navy vet, a proud Canadian and a loyal friend."

According to the obituary, Rocky was born March 9, 1926, in Toronto and served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War as a gunner on a British PT boat patrolling the English Channel. When he returned, he joined the York Township Fire Department and served for 40 years before retiring as a captain in 1987.

Rocky was vice-president of the International Association of Fire Fighters and president of the York Professional Firefighters Association. 

Visitation is Friday from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Turner & Porter Butler Chapel, 4933 Dundas St. West in Toronto. Funeral service is in the chapel on Saturday at 11 a.m.

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