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Video: Dale City fire chief remembered

When members of the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department died, Chico Marrero worked with Assistant Chief Carl Persing to make plaques and memorials for their fellow fallen fire fighters and EMTs.

This week, Persing died from complications from colon cancer. He battled the disease three times in the past five years.

“I told him that ‘I never wanted to work on one of these for you.’ It looks like I had to make one anyway,” said Marrero, an 11-year volunteer with the department. With the help of volunteers, Marrero made a large poster in memory of Persing, with photos depicting him at work doing the job he loved.

It was placed under glass and presented at a remembrance gathering held for Persing  Wednesday night at  Dale City Fire Station 13.

Persing had volunteered with the Dale City department since 2001, joining the organization after taking medical leave from the City of Manassas Fire and Rescue Department where he worked for 23 years. He officially retired from Manassas in 2007, but wanted to remain active in the fire service.

“He was a great firefighter, he was a great leader, a great teacher and a good mentor to people. And he cared about his people, and unfortunately at times he didn’t worry about himself, but worried about other people,” said DCVFD Chief Christopher Hool.

Wednesday night’s memorial gathering drew about 100 people. Many who attended remembered Persing for the experience that he brought the job.

During his life, he volunteered with fire stations in Fairfax County, Ft. Belvoir, Woodbridge, the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority and the U.S. Army.

He leaves behind two children, a mother and father, a brother and sister and a family of fire fighting professionals who will miss him.

A viewing for Persing will be held Tuesday June 29 at Dale City Fire Station 13, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

His funeral, with full honors, will be held the following day at 11 a.m., at the Hylton Memorial Chapel in Woodbridge.

*This story originally appeared on on Thursday June 24, 2010.

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