ALLEGHENY TOWNSHIP, BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Along Sugar Run Road, Allegheny Township Volunteer Fire Department’s late Chief Dave Cassidy continues to watch over his fellow fire fighters: his gear, now resting in front of his department’s building, as a temporary memorial.
Cassidy passed away suddenly Tuesday morning after being diagnosed with lung cancer less than a month ago.
“He was a caring man. He was dedicated to serving and protecting. He would manage a scene, and we’d always come home safe,” the department’s President Doug Pilot said.
When he wasn’t at the fire hall, Cassidy worked at Penelec as a meter reader. He leaves behind Lisa, his wife of 29 years, their three children, and several grandchildren.
“He loved his family, loved his wife, loved his grand daughter, and not gonna be able to see his grand son,” Pilot said.
Pilot remembers Cassidy as a leader, taking on almost every role at the department.
“The last two years he’s been our fire chief, and he was just elected again in this last election for a third year, but then of course the cancer took him, so that’s not gonna be,” he said.
His cancer that was diagnosed just three weeks ago after he went to the hospital for severe lower back pain.
“We’re gonna miss him. We’re still in shock. You start out with sciatica and you go all the way to cancer, and before you can even think about treatments, he’s gone,” Pilot said.
Cassidy was a member of the fire department for 39 years. As his gear remains outside their fire hall, his dedication and love of service will always be remembered.
“I don’t know how to express it. We’re gonna miss him, but we’re gonna know that he’s there and the things that he would be doing,” Pilot said.
There will be a viewing for Chief Cassidy on Friday night from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the New Hope Baptist church in Duncansville. After the memorial service at 11 a.m., there will be a procession to the Field of Valor, where chief will be laid to rest.
In lieu of flowers, Cassidy’s family is asking for donations to the Allegheny Township Fire Department, in his honor.