By Jaymie Baxley, The Pilot
Days after receiving one of the state’s highest honors, Pinebluff Fire Chief John McKiver has died.
McKiver, whose firefighting career spanned more than four decades, made history as the first Black fire department chief in Moore County. He was being treated for stomach cancer at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst.
State Rep. Jamie Boles visited the hospital on Wednesday to present McKiver with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Conferred by Gov. Roy Cooper, the award recognizes North Carolinians with a proven record of exemplary service.
The presentation was accompanied by a parade of fire trucks from nearly every department in Moore County. Surrounded by his family, McKiver waved to the passing vehicles from a window of the hospital.
“I’m glad we were able to honor him,” Boles said in a phone interview on Sunday. “The people of Moore County wanted to show thier appreciation for his service to the community.”
McKiver was a full-time firefighter for more than 30 years with the Southern Pines Fire and Rescue Department, advancing to the role of deputy chief before his retirement in 2007. He came out of retirement two years later to lead the Pinebluff Fire Department.
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