A fallen firefighter has been laid to rest in his hometown where he was undoubtedly a hero.
Barstow firefighter Dave Spink's memorial service was held on Saturday, January 22, 2022 in Barstow, California. The one-mile procession from Fire Station 3 traveled south, down Barstow Road, over Interstate 15, and onward uphill to the service which was held at the Performing Arts Center at Barstow College.
The funeral was attended by fire departments throughout Southern California. Shiny, red, black and white engines from Newberry Springs, Yermo-Calico, Daggett, Redlands, Morongo Valley, Chino Valley, Ontario, Rialto, Loma Linda, Riverside, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Orange County, Contra Costa County, Newport Beach, Arrow-Bear Lake and Los Angeles City Fire departments all made the journey to Barstow for the service. The entry to the funeral was greeted by a ladder truck from both Victorville and Apple Valley Fire, both ladders extended to the heavens, with the American flag hung from the peak. The make-shift, patriotic arch greeted the Barstow Fire truck that carried the coffin of Engineer Spink. A bagpipe ensemble of firefighters from across Southern California, led the way for the engine.
Once the fire engine carrying Spink came to a stop at the entrance of the Performing Arts Center, his coffin was lifted off the back of the fire truck. The American flag covered the casket, acknowledging Spink as the hero he was. Spink was carried inside the building and to the stage where he rested. Golden water tanks and miscellaneous firefighter knick-knacks blanketed the front of the stage. A pomegranate was also on display, front and center. A relative of the Spink family says that it was his favorite fruit. More than likely a snack Spink often ate while at the firehouse.
Law enforcement, dignitaries, family, friends, firefighters, neighbors and community members poured into the building to grab a seat. The nearly 480-seat venue was filled to the brim of those paying respect to Spink. At certain points, absolute silence was all that could be heard during the emotional service.
Longtime family friend Jim Sessions provided a life sketch of Dave.
Spink was born and raised in Barstow. Sessions says his first job was at Sears selling appliances. Spink was known as a passionate Christian that served as a young missionary in Boise, Idaho for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In 1990, Spink joined Barstow Fire and made his way up the ladder. The goal for Spink was to attend college at Victor Valley College and learn to become a firefighter.
Spink, an engineer for Barstow Fire was a big fan of technology, especially Tesla and Elon Musk.
Barstow Fire Chief and long-time friend Nic DiNapoli became a bit challenged in his speech as he tried his hardest to gather right words to honor the man he served side-by-side with for over 30 years. "I will brag about Dave and his contributions [inaudible], whether at a barstool or a church pew. What he did at incidents was nothing short of miracles." said DiNapoli as he went on, "it seems almost beyond comprehension that he paid this enormous price for each of us." DiNapoli closed his final goodbye to Spink saying "I hope you'll have a beautiful time exploring the universe, I know you will. My beautiful amazing friend, my fireman, my engineer, my brother, God bless you Dave."
CORRECTION: The fire station mentioned in the article was referred to as "Station 3." The correct station is "Station 361."