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The Geneva flags at all City buildings were lowered to half-staff Oct. 13 in memory of Geneva Fire Department Battalion Chief Gavin Hayes, 49, who died Oct. 12 after a lengthy battle with cancer.The 27-year veteran City firefighter was a lifelong resident of Geneva. After graduating Geneva High School in 1990, Mr. Hayes enlisted in the U.S. Army to realize his dream of becoming a helicopter pilot.Following the honorable discharge from the Army, Mr. Hayes was hired as a Geneva firefighter in 1994. He was an active member and led the department's technical rescue team, was the department's safety officer, and mentored many firefighters who joined the force.Throughout the years, he rose through the ranks to become Battalion Chief before his retirement earlier this month. On Oct. 2, the Geneva Fire Department conducted a Walk Out Ceremony to honor Battalion Chief Hayes for his dedicated public service in protecting lives and property throughout his career.The Geneva City Council held a moment of silence in Hayes' honor during its Oct. 18 meeting. Funeral services and more information can be found on the online obituary.
As an aside, all flags were lowered Oct. 18 across the country for former General and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.The City of Geneva would like to extend its sincere condolences to the Hayes family and his friends in the Geneva Fire Department on their loss.