John Cook

John Cooke and his wife, Dolly received an unexpected visit from Orofino Fire District Nov. 13, as he was presented an award commemorating his 39 years of service with the department. Fire Chief Jon Hoyt explained that they wanted to hold a reception for Cooke, but with the recent rise in Covid cases, it just wasn’t feasible. The inscription on his plaque sporting an engraved axe read: “To Engineer John Cooke for 39 years of volunteer service and sacrifice as a First Responder for Orofino Fire Department, along with countless hours of vehicle and equipment maintenance and repair. August 1981 through August 2020.” Shown in the photo are (l to r) Firefighter Bart Jones, Dolly Cooke, Fire Chief Jon Hoyt, John Cooke and firefighters Clay Hesson and Holly and Mike Hardin.

The Orofino Fire Department would like to announce the retirement of Engineer John B. Cooke, John proudly and unselfishly served as a volunteer fire fighter and first responder for 39 years from August 1981 to August 2020.

John served the Orofino and surrounding communities, without regard to the nature of the call.  He was the primary Engineer of Tender 58, which he designed and built most of the extras that are on that truck, John would supply water to everything from structure fires to wildland fires. The fire department could always count on John to safely place the Tender where it was needed most, sometimes even where roads didn’t exist.

He would never hesitate to assist organizations like CPTPA and the US Forest Service with fire suppression. He would also respond on Rescue 3, and assist with everything from traffic control to victim extraction.

John gave of his time and energy for 39 years to help those in need.

Clay Hesson has worked with John for many years and talks about how John loved to mix the fuel and light the training fires. John was so good at doing this that the department named his mixture Johnny Juice. Whether it was at training, or at an incident you could always count on John Cooke to show up and be willing to help with anything that was needed.

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