Home Our Members Events Water Hauling Hall Rental Winter Storage Equipment Directions Members Only

Line of Duty Death

Dave Vinisky

With A Heavy Heart I Witness

We lost a part of our world. 
A man has been killed.
A brother has fallen.
A good friend is no longer here to help.

For days, we try to prepare to say goodbye.
We have many friends.
They are all very wonderful.
They have help in many ways that no one on the outside even thought about.
Food & soft drinks seem to appear out of nowhere.
Companies from outside are here to cover our area while we are out of service.

All those who have come to help are our Brothers.
We are not related by blood.
We are not of the same religion or skin color.
We are auto mechanics and computer engineers.
Electricians, plumbers, school teachers.
CPA’s, truck drivers & CEO’s.
Standing side by side in our tragic loss.

The day is long and hot, it starts before the sun is up.
The truck is draped, the hall prepared, we can do this, we must.
The service is carried like a litter.
All hands on.
No one here will let it drop.
If we should stumble, and stumble we do.
We are in pain, and we grieve.
We go on.

Now, the service is over.
Back the truck in & have another coffee it’s been a long hard day.
Look forward to some rest & see the kids for a time……….


Men & women, that an hour ago, were too choked with grief to speak.
Jump out of patent leather & dress uniform into bunker gear & boots.
There are no reporters here now.
No camera crew.
It’s just another fire call out of hundreds that no one will hear about.
They don’t care if they get their picture on TV or get to read their name in the papers.
The truck, that moments ago sat quiet & blacked, burst into red & wails off into the rain & wind.
Someone needs help!!!!!!!!

They care about me, they care about you, they care about “our” homes & they go.
My heart is heavy, but it is lifted high by what I witness here.
Thank you God for the fire fighters!

Thank you firemen!

By G.Gray
Firefighter Raccoon VFD




FF. David Vinisky

Age 49

Raccoon Volunteer Fire Department

Aliquippa, Pa. 


You were seen around the station before you could even walk or play.

You followed in your father and grandfathers footsteps without hesitation or delay.

Your dad was one of the founding members and firefighting was in your blood to stay.

Joining your brother you were the third generation member with pride displayed.

 You were a dependable firefighter to the department that was well conveyed.

 Serving your township and carrying on the family tradition was A-okay.

You were a true friend and good neighbor a true bright and shinning ray.

Always committed in helping out your community in every kind of way.

When a volunteer was needed you were there to help with dedication that never strayed.

You worked for Zinc Corp. of America as a maintenance worker surveyed.

You had so many talents and trained skills in the fire department of quite an array.

As Vice President and friend of the fire department your life can never be outweighed.

Your community and comrades grieve your loss and are in dismay,

A tragic accident took your life but your precious love and memory will never stray.

Your love dwells in mom Beverly’s heart and ever constant on her mind,

She will miss you terribly though your love is her beacon of light that will forever shine.

You and brother Drew shared a close friendship that intertwined.

You were more than just brothers you had a mutual friendship combined.

20-year-old son Matthew is your living legacy of your love so well defined.

He will keep your love and life forevermore enshrined.

You are watching over the family you love, you’re their greatest hero divine.


Written By

 Diane Huggins




It is with deep sadness we here of the passing of our fellow brother David Vinisky.

Please take a moment and remember what the fire service meant to Dave. As sad as we are, he would want you all to beam with pride that he is now helping take care of our fallen brothers not only from this station, but from all over the world.

Remember his death in all your hearts and minds, and never forget. But also go forward for that is what Dave would want you to do.

God Bless you guys its not an easy road to hoe, but you will all do fine.

Mark A. Lauer, Fire Chief
Unionville/Center Twp
Fire Company
Butler, Pa 16001

Dear, Brothers and Sister in the Fire Service.
    Please accept our deepest sympathy in  your loss,  there are no words or actions that can comfort you right now, but
remember the duty you where called to still goes on.
     A firefighter is special and because of that kinship we have with one another it unites us in ways most people never understand, a brothership born of fire and loss that blooms into great and everlasting friendships.
    May your brother  rest in peace watching over all of us still on duty here on earth.
Scott Newcomer, Firefighter Crew 2 and all the Officers and members of the Sterling Volunteer Fire  Department
Sterling, VA

Fellow Firefighters

 I can't come up with the right words to say but let me start by saying this. I have followed your pain for the last couple of days in firehouse .Iam from a small department in Northern Wisconsin called Florence. We have 40 members and like your selfs I would do any thing for them.

 People often ask me why do you do what you do.I simple tell them becouse I love it.I tsounds like your fellow fireman loved what he did also. On this day of sorrow and as the last bell sounds for your fellow brother, remeber all the good times that you shared. Remeber what your brother stood for. The best way you can pay tribute to him is that all the people who follow in his foot steps will never forget the shoe they are about to fill are very special. May God Bless all of you in this time of greif .and remember that thier are 40 fellow firefighter in Florence Wisconsin that will have a moment of silence at are department function today for your lost brother.

Jack Bomberg
Captain Florence Fire
Po Box 241
Florence Wi,54121

Dear brother firefighters:

Our hearts go out to your department from your tragic loss. I'm Roger Coulter from the Beech Bottom VFD located in Brooke County West Virginia. Again our prays go out to you and your department.                                                      

  Roger Coulter                                                                      

My condolences & sympathy to the family of Firefighter David Vinisky. To my brothers & sisters of the Racoon fire station 35 your loss is felt through out the fire service. May you all be blessed by knwing F/F Vinisky and we of the brotherhood/sisterhood of the fire service will not forget.... after all "we take car of our own". God Bless and keep it afe out there".
Batt Chief James F. Carey
Dep. Fire Marshal
City of Melbourne, FL Fire Dept.
Code Compliance Division

The member of the Shaftsbury Fire Department are deeply sorry for your
Departments loss.
Best to all our brothers in the Raccoon VFD.

Mike Taylor, Captain
Shaftabury (Vt.) Fire Dept.

Members of the Raccoon Township VFD,
The men and women firefighters of the Bethel Park Volunteer Fire Company extend their deepest sympathies for the tragic loss of your brother firefighter Dave Vinisky. I realize there are no words that can ease the pain right now, but know that we have all of you in our prayers.
With sympathy,
Kevin Kubala, Chief
Bethel Park VFC  Station 110

We extend our deepest sypathies for the loss of your Fire Fighter and our Fallen Brother.
I am a former Beaver resident with long ties to the Fraternity.
FF Raymond "Randy" Grosskopf
Creedmoor VFD
Creedmoor NC 27522

My deepest sympothy goes out to you all.  May your work continue in the spirit of your fallen Brother.
Bill Burns, Ass't Chief
East Liverpool FD

Saddened to hear of your tragedy.  May God give your department members and families of the deceased and injured members the strength needed in the days ahead.  God Bless, stay safe. 


Norm Knapp, Past Chief,

Brockport, NY FD

First I would like to sincerely offer condolences on behalf of my self and our department.  It has been a year and a few weeks since we lost a brother, Barry D. Lutsy, in an eerily similar tragedy involving vehicle backing.  While I do not know the details of your incident, I am sure there will be those who want to know exactly what happened, but unfortunately in some cases that is just not possible.  Sometimes that may be best after all. Even without exact details, once we got past our mourning, (although the thought of the event visits us daily), we have been able to learn from it and hopefully assure it will not happen again.

 One good thing we did get out of all the grief was the fact that the event has seemed to drive Barry’s two younger sons to be the best Fire Fighters they can be and so far they have done quite well.

 You will also need to be sure to strive to keep you department together.  You will definitely need to be there for each other!  Things will get difficult at times, but you need to do it for yourselves, your community and in Honor of your Fallen Brother.

 I realize our departments are a good distance apart, but if there is anything we may be able to help you with, please let us know.


 Archie E. Hubbard


Racine VFD

PO Box 100

Racine, WV  25165


Hello my name is Jackie Hayes and i am with the Racine VFD in Racine West Virginia. I can relate to each and every one of you , because one year ago the 13th of August we lost a  brother Barry Lutsy in the same kind of accident at our station, and i was the Officer in charge that day.  My prayers go out to each and everyone of the memebers of the Raccoon VFD.  When i read the tragic story the accident came back to me like it just happend today. 
All my prayers and from all the members of the Racine VFD we send our condolences.
                 Captain Jackie Hayes


I am terribly sorry to hear of the tragic accident that claimed one of your
members. On behalf of all the officers and members of Co.11, our most
heartfelt sympathy.


Michael T. Hughes,
Fire Chief
Branchville Volunteer Fire Company and Rescue Squad, Inc.
College Park, MD (Prince Georges County)

Dear Brothers,
During this time of grieving, please remember you are in our thoughts and
prayers. Very nice tribute on your website, very respectable. We honor you
and fire fighter David Vinisky.
Your brothers in the fire service
Berrien Springs / Oronoko Fire Department
Berrien Springs, MI

 Dear firefighters;

I want to write and continue to give you my support.  I am so very sorry  that you must all endure this grief, hardship and foremost of the loss of your fellow brother and dear friend.  I want you all to know you are in our deepest prayers. 
Please know you have my family's continued support.  I know you all have heavy hearts and just continue looking up and know that David is with you in spirit. He would want you to keep his memory alive in the work that you do each day by serving and helping others. Stop and feel David's very presence he is all around you guiding your way.   I wish I could take all your pain and sorrow away.  God Bless each and everyone of you.  May the poems be of comfort to you.  I have read the ones posted to your site and I feel your very pain.



There are men and women everywhere

They serve us everyway.

They take their lives in danger to save us without delays.

They are our public servants,

We thank you from our hearts,

For your work and dedication in helping the public out.

They never think a moment of the danger they are in.

They give their lives for you and me,

They truly are our friends.

They’re our police and firefighters, our EMS as well,

They give so much of themselves and they always excel.

They put their own lives on the line and never hesitate.

We thank you and we pray for God to keep you ever safe!

May He guard and protect you from harm in every way.

May you wake up with your family to enjoy another day?

We honor you and praise you in all cities and all towns,

From New York where you died trying to save so many lives.

All across our nation we give you tribute and all praise!

For all our heroes fallen; their greatest sacrifice was made.

We thank you all our heroes from sea to shinning sea!

We will honor you forever for your courageous bravery.


Written By

Diane Huggins






My three wishes

 If I could have 3 wishes:
I know what I would do:
I’d wish away your sorrow:
I’d wish away your blues:
I’d pack up all your care and strife:
I would carry your heavy load:
I’d never let you suffer:
Traveling down life’s road.
If I could have 3 wishes:
Your life would be complete:
You would never feel another pain:
They would be all mine to keep.
If I could have 3 wishes:
I’d tell you what I’d do:
You wouldn’t have to struggle:
Life would be so good to you:
But, I don’t have 3 wishes:
No magic wand to wave:
No Jeannie in a lantern:
To wish your cares away:
But I can offer something:
That’s with you now to stay
My caring heart and friendship
They’re with you everyday.

 Written ByDiane Huggins

 © 2002 7/6

 I will be praying for your Department. May God Bless you during these times.

Frank Maher
Assistant Fire Chief
Jersey Village Volunteer Fire Department
Jersey Village, Texas

On behalf of the members of the Big Run Area Volunteer Fire Company, based in Big Run, Jefferson County, PA, please accept our heartfelt sympathies in the loss of your long-time member, David Vinisky. One of our own has fallen and we grieve with you.
May our Supreme Chief-in-Command bring comfort to his family of relatives and fellow members of your Department.
Sincerely, Laura Lynn Yohe

BRAVFC Recording Secretary

I spent a few moments this morning reading the newspaper account of the death of your brother firefighter David Vinisky, and I wish to pass along my heartfelt condolences to the Raccoon Twp. VFD.

Growing up in a small rural Pennsylvania fire company myself, I cannot imagine the grief you as a department, as friends, and as family must be feeling. 

May God in his wisdom find ways to comfort your hearts as they ache for the loss of your brother, and may the thoughts and prayers of your fellow firefighters around Pennsylvania and beyond provide you some comfort during the coming days.

FF/Paramedic Chris Chamberlain

Phoenixville Fire Department

Phoenixville PA

Fellow Firefighters,
On behalf of the members of Bellmawr Fire & Rescue No. 1, I would like to offer my condolances to the family, fellow members and friends of Firefighter David E. Vinisky.  If there is anything we can do to help you in your time of need please let us know.
God Bless
Firefighter Brian Schad
Bellmawr Fire & Rescue No.1
29 Lewis Avenue
Bellmawr, NJ 08031

Sorry to hear about David's death.My deepest sympathy go out to theVinisky family and members of Raccoon fire dept.                                             

Lt David Fila

North Spartanburg F.D.

Please express our sincerest condolences to the family, friends, and
fellow firefighters of such a dedicated servant of the community;
Firefighter David E. Vinisky.

Dan Shaeffer
District Chief
Alachua County (FL) Fire Rescue  

We are all saddened by the loss of a brother.  Our sympathies to his
family and members of your department.

Jean M. LeMire
Health/Safety Officer
Alachua County Fire Rescue
Gainesville, FL

In Deepest Sympathy,

Please know that your department and the family of Firefighter David E. Vinisky are in my thoughts and prayers during this trying time. 

Ronald E. Young

Fire Equipment Operator

Greensboro Fire Department

City of Greensboro North Carolina

Engine 18, A-Shift

Wolcott Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.
225 Nichols Road
Wolcott, Connecticut 06716

September 2, 2004

Chief Bert Failor
Raccoon Township Independent Volunteer Fire Department
4061 Patterson Rd.
Aliquippa, PA  15001

Dear Chief,

The Officers and Members of the Wolcott Volunteer Fire Department,
Wolcott, CT wish to send our heart felt condolences to the family of FF
Vinisky, you and your membership.  Please take solace in knowing that
David is in a better place and that his new position in the Department is
to watch over and protect us all.

In the spirit of brotherhood of the fire service, we remain

Sincerely Yours,

Lt. Jon St. Louis, Commander
Wolcott Volunteer Fire Department
Honor Guard

On behalf of the officers and staff at the Abington Massachusetts Fire
Department we want you to know that you, your department and the family
of Firefighter David E. Vinisky are in our thoughts and prayers.

Malcolm B Whiting

I will be praying for your Department. May God Bless you during these times.
Frank Maher
Assistant Fire Chief
Jersey Village Volunteer Fire Department
Jersey Village, Texas

I would like to offer my condolences for the loss of Firefighter Vinisky.
Teresa Neal
National Fire Data Center
United States Fire Administration
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Department of Homeland Security