GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The Greensboro Fire Department is mourning the loss of a 26-year veteran of the department.

Robert Swink died from cancer on Monday, according to a GFD news release.

He started his career as a firefighter with the Guilford College Fire Department on Sept. 3, 1996. On June 17, 1999, he was promoted and earned the rank of engineer.

Swink became an official member of the GFD in 2001.

He worked as an engineer for the last 10 years of his career, and the GFD says he was a firefighter that always had a positive outlook on life and was well respected by all members of the department.

Swink held several special certifications required of being one of only three personnel assigned to the Air Unit.

He was a husband and father of three children.

His son followed in his footsteps and is a member of the FD working at Station Five.

Greensboro Fire Chief Jim Robinson released the following statement on Monday:

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of a family member today due to a long and courageous battle with cancer. Robert was a great husband to Taylor, awesome father to three amazing children (ages 27, 31 and 34), great firefighter and a dedicated member of our family. We are hurting today as a family.

–Greensboro Fire Chief Jim Robinson