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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 40
Year of Death: 2008

Robert A. Hales

Robert A. Hales
Scappoose Rural Fire Protection District – Oregon
Volunteer Firefighter
Date of Death: August 17‚ 2008
Age: 40

Robert was born September 4‚ 1967‚ in Oregon‚ to Robert and Carol Hales. He graduated from St. Helens High School and joined the Army in 1985. He began his training as a large equipment/diesel mechanic while in the Army and completed his Diesel Certification at Portland Community College.

Robert married his wife‚ Mary‚ in 1991‚ and they moved to Scappoose‚ Oregon‚ to be near Robert’s extended family. In 1999‚ they bought a house just across the creek from the fire station and moved there with their three daughters‚ Heather (17)‚ Katie (16)‚ and Sandra (14).

In everything he did‚ Robert always put his family first. His interest in being a firefighter stemmed from the struggle his family went through with the premature birth of their second daughter‚ Katie. Her illness prompted him to learn all he could about her care and‚ because of this‚ he became an EMT-B after joining the fire department.

Robert worked as a mechanic for Hertz Equipment for 12 years. He loved the family atmosphere of the fire station and would often stop in at the station in town on his way home after work to chat with other fire personnel. He used his mechanic skills over the years to help in the maintenance of fire apparatus. He was well respected for his ability to diagnose and repair equipment.

Robert loved his community‚ and he volunteered in many different areas. His grandfather had helped to found a farm museum in Columbia County‚ and Robert helped each year in growing and harvesting the wheat or oats that they ran through a 1926 Case thresher each summer during the county fair. He also helped out with maintenance at the fairgrounds‚ and he and his wife were the campground superintendents for the county fair. Everywhere he went‚ people recognized him from some time he had helped out someone they knew. Being a volunteer firefighter was just a natural step in his commitment to his community. His dedication was admired and‚ in 2001‚ he was awarded Volunteer Firefighter of the Year.

Robert could always be counted on to respond to the fire/rescue call coming over the radio. On August 17‚ 2008‚ he responded to a fire call early in the morning and fought lightning strike fires for twelve hours. Shortly after returning home‚ he drove his daughter to work. Barely a mile from home‚ he suffered from a heart event that caused him to black out and crash. His daughter escaped from the accident unhurt. Robert died at the scene‚ surrounded by Scappoose Fire personnel.

Memorial Posts

Katie Cravens
Scholarship Profile

Memorial Wall

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  1. Miss your smile and chatting with you about the family.
    I will always remember you.
    Your children have grown into beautiful young women. You would be proud.

    – Carrie peabody
  2. Robert was a great person to work with and was always willing to teach you if you needed.

    – Clifton shober
  3. Robert was an amazing man. Loved and missed forever.

    – Debbie Ritthaler
  4. We will Always remember and treasure the time spent with Robert, both on the fire line, and as a true Friend! We will Never Forget You, Robert!

    Ret.Asst.Chief John Shull and Suzie Shull

    – John and Suzie Shull
  5. Robert Hales – one of my very favorite Scappoose volunteers of all time. I will never forget where I was when I learned of his passing. And, as we were also neighbors, I found it even more difficult to accept when I learned it was along the back side of our property while we were out of town. He was a very genuine, kind, loving & caring individual. Robert – not only do your family & friends miss you, your entire community does as well. R.I.P. Brother.

    Beth (and Jim) Pulito

    – Beth Pulito
  6. I didn’t meet Robert, but he has left behind four dynamic, self-assured, goal oriented women. Their lives must represent his positive involvement in each of them. He would be very proud of his family.

    – Rick Charlson