Why is the Fire Station Flag at Half Staff ?

In case you’ve driven by the fire station, or any other in the county today, you might have noticed that the flag is being flown at half staff.  Here’s the reason why from Josh White, Unit Chief, Tuolumne County Fire Chief, CAL FIRE, Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit

American Flag at half mast
In respect for Cal Fire Battalion Chief Mike Spear

Friends,

As many of you are aware, Battalion Chief Mike Spear passed away unexpectedly but peacefully at his home on Friday, August 12th.  Mike was a dedicated Battalion Chief who took great pride in protecting the citizens of California and was focused on making safer working conditions for all firefighters.

Mike was born in Garden Grove, California.  Raised in Mission Viejo, CA, he graduated from Capistrano Valley High School, class of 1988.  Mike had always known he wanted to be a firefighter and attended Columbia College graduating with an Associates Degree in Fire Technology.

Mike began his career with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in the Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit as a firefighter in 1991 through the 1994 fire season.  He then worked at Foster Farms as a Fire Safety Specialist where he met the love of his life, Kimberly Adams.  They were married in 1999.  In 1998 Mike returned to CAL FIRE in the Fresno-Kings Unit and became a permanent employee as a Fire Apparatus Engineer in 2000.  In 2003, Mike returned home to the Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit where he promoted to Fire Captain, and served as Crew Captain at the Vallecito and Baseline Conservation Camps.  Mike also served at the Forestry Training Program at Sierra Conservation Center and became a Unit Safety Officer in 2007. He promoted to Battalion Chief of Training and Safety in February of 2015.  In addition to his CAL FIRE duties, Mike served and helped many local agencies, including volunteer fire departments, county schools, and more.

Mike was a devoted Anaheim Angels and Los Angeles Rams fan.  He was known by friends and family to be a joker, and quick witted.  He enjoyed surfing, and most especially skiing and snowboarding at Dodge Ridge with his children.  Most of all, he loved spending time with his beloved wife and children.

Mike is survived by his parents, Robert and Madeleine Spear, sister Suzanne and brother-in-law Jeff Kyker, parents-in-law Stuart and Nancy Chaney, wife Kimberly, and children, William and Molly.

Memorial Service
We will be celebrating his life on Saturday, August 20th, at Columbia College in the Oak Pavilion.  The address is 11600 Columbia College Drive, Sonora, CA 95370.  The service will begin at 11:00 a.m.
Reception will be immediately following in the Oak Pavilion.
Fire Service personnel are requested to wear Class A “Dress” Uniform or Class B “Work Response” Uniform and arrive by 10:00 a.m.

Donations
In lieu of flowers his family asks that donations be made to:
TCFD Fire Muster Association
18440 Striker Ct.
Sonora, CA  95370

Or,

Ken Onstadt Benevolent Fund
785 Mountain Ranch Road
San Andreas, CA  95249

Contact
For information or questions, please contact:
Paul Avila
Assistant Chief
paul.avila@fire.ca.gov
209-419-4403

Notes and cards can be sent to:
Spear Family
c/o CAL FIRE
18440 Striker Ct.
Sonora, CA  95370

We hope you can join us to pay tribute to our friend and colleague.

Sincerely,

Josh White
Unit Chief
Tuolumne County Fire Chief
CAL FIRE
Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit
(209) 419-4400

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