June 25, 4:08 a.m., your last act of leadership, last greeting to a citizen in need, last offer of help. When I look back at these decisions and their impact, the way that they have altered everything for us, I also reflect on all the ones that came before, your personal life decisions and their impact.
You always wanted to be a firefighter, from the L.A. County Fire Explorer program to private ambulance and paramedic school. You got your dream job with Long Beach Fire on March 2, 2001. During your career you enjoyed working at busy houses and spent a few years at the training center, passing on your experience and knowledge to incoming members. The numerous commendations during your career were not surprising, because you were a man of strong character.
I remember one of our first dates together. I took notice as you treated everyone from shop worker to wait staff with respect and kindness. Your love was genuine; you gave your best in everything you did, from umpiring to serving as Little League president. You put your family and those around you before yourself. You would check on your sister, plan family outings, help your mom and dad with projects, or just go over to say hello and share breakfast with them. I looked on in admiration as you practiced your drills and lectures aloud in the backyard, practicing even after so many years on the job.
It’s no surprise that excellence and humble leadership were so important to you. At the core of it all was your faith in Christ, the faith that shaped who you were. These past few years brought a priceless gift to your life and to our love. You began digging deeper into your personal faith by reading the Bible and sharing your life with a small group of men from our church. This had a profound impact on the boys and me. You knew firsthand the impact and toll of your job, and you knew how crucial a relationship with Christ was to do all the things that it required and still come home afterwards to love us.
That call on June 25 had a permanent impact, but more than that, Honey, you have. In all your decisions, your leadership, your service, and especially your love to the boys and me, we’ve been changed. You’re more than a line-of-duty death, another tragedy, more than a fire captain, husband, father, son, brother, and friend. You’re a man whose daily decisions have a lasting impact on us all.
Dave Rosa leaves behind his wife, Lynley; sons, Alec and Sam; parents, Paul and Jean; and sister, Julia.