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Pembroke Fire Dept. honors Freddie Cook with building dedication
The Pembroke Fire Department dedicated its new training center to lifelong Pembroke resident and former department assistant chief Freddie Cook, who served more than four decades as a volunteer firefighter. - photo by Provided

Freddie Cook never looked for the spotlight.

A volunteer firefighter for the Pembroke Fire Department for more than 42 years, 32 as assistant chief, he was content to stay in the background, simply doing the work that needed to be done. The impact of that service is still felt today.

Sunday afternoon, the Pembroke Fire Department dedicated its new fire training center in Cook’s memory. The Freddie Cook Training Center is an acknowledgement of the influence Cook had over the years in the department he loved.

“He’d like that,” Jimmy Cook said of his brother. “He’s probably up there smiling down now.”

Pembroke Councilwoman Karen Lynn recalled fondly that her father loved the fire department and took great pride being a part of it.

“He was very dedicated to it. It was a big deal to him – he loved it,” she said.

“I think he would be very honored because it was named after him, but he wouldn’t be one to seek that out,” she continued. “He was the steady, behind-the-scenes, you-can-depend-on-him kind of guy. He didn’t care if you acknowledged him or not. He was happy with doing what he needed to do.”

Though dedicated and dependable, Cook enjoyed the camaraderie with fellow firefighters, often participating in practical jokes. 

“He would get involved in the pranks, but when we got caught he’d be one of the ones in there going, ‘Now you know you shouldn’t be doing this,’” Fire Chief Peter Waters recalled with a laugh.

Cook was assistant chief when Waters began his career with the fire department.

“He was assistant chief when I started,” Waters said. “We always got along great. He enjoyed being around the guys and he enjoyed what he did.”

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