In Memory of David Leonard Harrison ~ Memorial BBQ
Christmas Hill Park ~ Gilroy, CA September 13, 2012

Dave fought his last fire August 17, 2012, yes, during Fire Season.

Dave was born July 6, 1935 and raised in Gilroy. Following graduation from Gilroy High School, he studied Forest Management at Cal Poly and Humboldt State.

Dave began his public service career in 1952 as a seasonal firefighter for the California Division of Forestry. After serving in the United States Army from 1955 to 1958, Dave returned to CDF where he worked as a Forest Firetruck Driver, Firefighter Foreman, and Assistant State Forest Ranger – equivalent to the ranks of Engineer, Captain, and Battalion Chief. Dave was an exceptionally talented fire line tactician.

Following 12 years of service with CDF, Dave became a member of the Santa Clara County Central Fire Protection District (now known as County Fire) as part of the Alma Fire Protection District merger in 1970. Dave’s 35 years as a devoted public servant came to a close in February 1987 when he retired from the Central Fire Protection District.

Dave’s pursuit of knowledge extended beyond his college years: He studied fire & political science; held Fire Command and P.O.S.T certifications; and he was a member of the California Rural Fire Association, the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, the Society of Quiet Birdmen, and the Amateur Radio Relay League. Dave held a Commercial Instrument Rated Pilot License, Flight Instructor for Single and Multi-Engine Airplanes and Gliders – and was a pilot for so long that it’s said Wilbur Wright’s signature is on his license!

He possessed an extreme interest in communications from amateur radio, fire service, phone systems, and computer networks. In 1985, Dave was instrumental in transitioning Central Fire apparatus from Motorola 2-channel to Motorola 4-channel radios.

Dave will be sorely missed, and fondly remembered.
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