The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 24, 2012

Memorial to firefighters gets an upgrade in Dale

Frank Sojak

JOHNSTOWN — The Dale Borough Volunteer Fire Company has never forgotten its fallen members.

Since the early days of the company, firefighters who passed away have been remembered on a memorial on the exterior of the fire hall for 30 days.

The nameplate with the fallen firefighter’s name then was added to a larger memorial containing the names of all fallen firefighters inside the fire hall, located on Bedford Street.

Dale Deputy Fire Chief Don Litzinger recently figured it would be fitting that the memorials be updated, and he formed a committee to do just that.

More than 300 nameplates were polished.

Jeff Wilson, a captain with the department and a Dale Borough councilman, donated his time to make two new memorials.

An accomplished woodworker, Wilson handcrafted two wooden glass cases, both of which are lighted.

“They’re beautiful,” Litzinger said about the glass cases.

“It’s very important to remember our fallen firefighters for the time they dedicated to the fire company.”

None of the firefighters memorialized has died in the line of duty, he said.

The Geisel Funeral Home in Dale donated a black wreath for the memorial on the outside of the fire hall.

William Devlin, the supervisor and former owner of the funeral home who presented the wreath to the fire company, said that the funeral home and his family have always believed it was important to support the fire company.

“The wreath is a tribute to firefighters who have passed away,” he said. “It’s important to honor them because they have always been there for us.”

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