LODD: Pa. fire chief dies of cardiac issue after responding to medical call
Hope Fire Company Chief Isaac "Dave" Hassen Sr. previously worked as a medic and as a police officer
Duty Death: Chief Isaac David Hassen Sr. - [Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania]
End of Service: 04/15/2022
NORTHERN CAMBRIA, Pa. — Isaac "Dave" Hassen Sr. was barely old enough to drive when he first donned a Hope Fire Company hat and coat, his longtime friend Pete Barczak said.
As he transitioned from junior firefighter to line officer and, eventually, chief over the 53 years that followed, his reason for serving never changed, he said.
"Dave was there to help anyone with anything at any time — that's just how he was," said Barczak, Hope's assistant chief.
Hassen died Friday due to a cardiac issue, Cambria County Coroner Jeffrey Lees said.
The 69-year-old borough native was hospitalized shortly after responding to a seizure call at a Northern Cambria area residence, Barczak said.
A former medic, Hassen was handling a Quick Response Service call because the fire department was in a position to respond to the health emergency before an ambulance could arrive, Barczak said.
"That's how Dave was — he responded to any call," Barczak said. "It's how we were brought up to serve, and Dave carried that torch until the end."
The Northern Cambria community and first responders from across the region were planning to gather Wednesday to honor Hassen with a funeral procession that will feature departments from as many as 50 departments, a fire official said.
Gov. Tom Wolf also ordered flags flown in state buildings to be lowered to half-staff to honor Hassen this week.
Hassen was also a retired Northern Cambria police officer who patrolled on a part-time basis at various points for Carrolltown, Hastings and Patton.
Hope Fire Company's crew posted a tribute on their Facebook page over the weekend, remembering Hassen.
"It is with the deepest sympathy from the officers and members of station 50 to report the passing of Station 50 Chief Dave Hassen Sr. Dave was a member of station 50 since 1969. He became assistant chief in 1974 and remained an officer until he became chief in 2005 until present. Please keep all the family of Dave in your thoughts and prayers."
Hassen is survived by his wife of 24 years, Missy; his four children; and three grandchildren, his obituary shows.
Moriconi Funeral Home is handling arrangements for Hassen. Visitation is scheduled for 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Following an 11 a.m. funeral service at Contres-Greer Social Hall, a procession will depart the venue and proceed past Hope's fire station along Route 219 North, Cambria County emergency services officials said in a release to media.
Hassen was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, Hemlock Lodge #101, the Cambria County Drug Task Force, Cambria County & Vicinity Fireman's Association, Western PA Fireman's Association and the State of Pennsylvania Fireman's Association.
"Dave is going to be missed," Barczak said. "He leaves big boots to fill."
(c)2022 The Tribune-Democrat (Johnstown, Pa.)