Courtesy: Clear Lake Mirror Reporter

Flags are flying at half-staff throughout Clear Lake in honor of a Clear Lake volunteer fireman who died shortly after helping to extinguish a small blaze.

Dale Simpson, 38, died Monday, April 2, at Mercy Health Center-North Iowa. Simpson had responded to a fire call at Memorial Park Cemetery at approximately 6:35 a.m. Monday, then returned home. He was apparently on his way to work at Mercy Health Center when he was apparently overcome by some medical condition and collapsed.

According to Jack Wilcox, public information officer for the fire department, Simpson's truck crossed railroad tracks and Highway 18, just north of his North 10th Street home, then came to rest on a fence at the Lion's Field complex. Firefighters, as well as police officers and a crew from Snell's Ambulance responded to the scene at approximately 8 a.m. He was pronounced dead at Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa.

Wilcox said firefighters, both active and retired, gathered Monday night at the Clear Lake Fire Museum to share in their grief and remember Simpson, a member of the department since Oct. 3, 1996.

"There was much talk about how Dale would ride his bike to the station when his dad (former Fire Chief John Simpson) was going out on a call," said Wilcox. "He was a guy who would help anyone and a bright person to be around."

Wilcox said he saw Simpson Monday morning, but noted that he left the station soon after returning from the call. "He usually stuck around until all the cleanup was done and enjoyed visiting with everyone, but he didn't have that luster Monday. I guess he went home to shower and then went on his way."

Simpson was currently serving as chairman of the fire department's Muster Committee, a June gathering of antique fire equipment and display of firefighting techniques. He was also active in raising funds to purchase a thermal imaging camera for the the department and was in charge of the department's EMT certification.

Mayor Kirk Kraft paid tribute to Simpson in a brief statement at Monday night's City Council meeting. "It is a loss to the entire community when a volunteer fireman, and someone so involved in out city dies. We extend our sympathies to his family."

Memorial Fund:
Firefighter Simpson Fund
c/o Clear Lake Volunteer Fire Department
511 1st Ave N
Clear Lake, IA 50428