Former Fire Chief and ‘Takoma Park Legend’ Jimmy Jarboe Dies

Jimmy Jarboe, who spent more than 60 years as a Takoma Park firefighter, has died, the department announced Sunday.

“He was always a legend and a fixture in Takoma Park,” said Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart. He connected with young people, especially at fire department open houses, she said, noting, “He just had that special connection.”

On Twitter, she called him a “TKPK legend.”

Jarboe, 83, retired as a professional firefighter in 1998 because of health issues but continued serving as a volunteer chief until 2008.

Jarboe served as a frontline firefighter through to chief “and in his later years as one of the county’s greatest fire prevention and pubic education activists,” tweeted the Takoma Park Volunteer Fire Department.

The Jarboe family was involved deeply in firefighting. His brother, Teddy, was a career fire chief in Kensington and a deputy fire chief in Montgomery County.  Also involved in firefighting were three other brothers, his father and an uncle.

The Maryland Fire Marshall tweeted, “Chief Jarboe has saved thousands of lives over his time in the fire service. A true professional his passion for fire and injury prevention was highly contagious and he shared that with all of us. The Firefighting Jarboes from Takoma Park are all together again.”

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