Isaac David Hassen Sr., “Dave” to his friends and family, wore many hats in his lifetime. He was once a coal miner, a paramedic, and was still serving his community as a police officer and, most importantly, a volunteer firefighter. Dave started in the fire service in 1969 at age 16, following in his father’s footsteps as a second-generation firefighter with the Hope Fire Company in Barnesboro, Pennsylvania. Dave spent 53 years in the fire service serving his community. He quickly rose through the ranks, becoming an assistant chief in 1974. He stayed in that role until becoming chief in 2005, a position he held until his untimely passing.
He received several honors and awards during his years of dedicated service. He received a Valor Award in 1994 from the Cambria County Volunteer Firefighter’s Association for rescuing an individual from a burning apartment fire. In 2013, he and another assistant chief were honored with a Valor Award from the Western Pennsylvania Firemen’s Association for rescuing an elderly couple who had become unconscious in their home from carbon monoxide poisoning.
He had a quiet strength. He was loving, compassionate, respectful, honest, and fair. Dave was born to be a leader. He mentored numerous young firefighters during his years, including two of his own sons who became third-generation firefighters with Hope Fire Company. He surely earned the respect of many through his actions and caring demeanor.
Following a busy week of emergency calls, Dave unexpectedly passed away on April 15, 2022, at age 69 from cardiac related issues. He was the son of the late Mike and Betty (Wagner) Hassen. He is survived by his loving wife, Melissa, four children, four grandchildren, two brothers, and a sister.
Dave was and always will be the true meaning of a first responder. He will surely be missed by his family, firefighter family, friends, and the community he so proudly served.