Firefighter honored in Dale City
A life-long firefighter was honored today at in Dale City.
Carl Persing, who died last week at age 53 from complications from colon cancer, was honored by hundreds of fire and rescue professionals at the C.D. Hylton Memorial Chapel.
Working with the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department since 2001, Persing first became a volunteer firefighter while he was a junior in high school.
He went onto serve in the Army, and then with the Woodbridge volunteer and Lorton fire companies. He also spent 23 years as a career firefighter in Manassas.
Many remembered him Tuesday for not only his extensive professional experience, but also the for the fun times Persing had while not on duty.
“Carl was also a religious man. I learned this on my very first duty,” said Occoquan-Lorton-Woodbridge Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jim McAllister.
The two served together in Woodbridge.
“After house duties were done, I heard an announcement over the P.A. system: ‘church services in the bingo hall.’ I scratched my head and said ‘what is that all about?’” said McAllister. “I walked into the bingo hall and I saw the rest of our group…they’re all sitting at the table and Carl says to me ‘Poker, do you play?’ We played every week from that point on, religiously.”
Persing’s body was brought to the memorial chapel in a flag-draped casket on the back of the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department’s 1973 Hahn pumper truck. It’s a piece of equipment the department remains proud of because it was the first it purchased.
The casket was unloaded before the ceremony, and then put back onto the truck afterwards for a funeral procession through Dale City. Each time the casket was viewed by hundreds of saluting uniformed firefighters.
Persing leaves behind two children, his parents, a sister and brother.
His family and the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department planned to lay him to rest at Quantico National Cemetery.