Captain Tim Smith, Victim of Violence: His Last Roll Call

Photo provided by Sherry Shepherd

Tim Smith and his wife pictured on a t-shirt worn by some who attended the services Sunday. [Photo provided by Sherry Shepherd]

Firefighters, friends and family poured into Fortuna on Sunday to pay their last respects to Captain Tim Smith of that city’s volunteer fire department. Smith who died of gunshot wounds earlier this month was honored for his commitment to the community.

Photo provided by Sherry Shepherd

Attendees were invited to share memories of Captain Smith. [Photo provide by Aurora Studebaker.]

Diana Totten Public Information Officer for Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue said, “He was an awesome guy…The service shows the honor we wanted to give him.”

An estimated 25 to 30 fire departments as well as ambulance companies and technical rescue volunteers sent squads of representatives. Processions of vehicles rolled towards the River Lodge in Fortuna in Smith’s honor.


[All truck photos by Sherry Shepherd]

“The streets were closed off,” described Totten. “There were a lot of people standing with their hand on their heart. The Fortuna chief was with the family of Timmy. It was just one giant, solid line of emergency vehicles. Most had their lights on but no sirens.”

A huge American flag few over the incoming vehicles.

“We marched in a single file line,” Totten said. “As we entered the River Lodge, Timmy’s family and friends were already there. It was standing room only.”

A procession of firefighters filed into the memorial service. [Photo by Deb Lake]

A procession of firefighters filed into the memorial service. [Photo by Deb Lake]

According to Totten, the service was a traditional firefighter’s service. “The bells were rung, an honor guard with white gloves marched carrying fire axes and bagpipes were played,” she said. “There were several speakers.”

Tim’s son carried in memorabilia. [Photo by Sherry Shepherd.]

Totten described a very moving bell ceremony. “The bell is rung three times,” she said. “Sirens sounded. Then there was radio call from the command center and they called Tim’s number. After they call Tim’s number several times, they come on the radio and say thank you and they say, ‘We’ll answer the calls from now on. You rest.”

(You can see and hear it below.)

[Video by Amber Bowlds]

“We live with pagers and radios,” Totten explained. “[Our] families know what we go through. We get up in the middle of dinner and the middle of the night. We get up in the middle of birthday parties and the middle of shopping trips. Someone’s emergency takes precedence. When Tim doesn’t answer the last call, it is time for us to step up and try and fill his boots.”

According to Totten, Smith’s family was given his badge, his number was retired, and his helmet was given to the family.

Totten said that firefighters like Smith are there to help their neighbors. “The bottom line is we are very honored to be part of a bigger world and help our communities. People like Tim are those who go way beyond the call of duty.”

Aurora Studebaker

Captain Tim Smith’s memorial program. [Photo by Sherry Shepherd]




  • Although I never knew Tim or his family, I see a light that burned in this man’s heart that reminds me a few special people in my life. The words shared by so many pull at the heart strings of anything that we call a love for our fellow man. His larger than life persona, is something of a rare quality amongst the modern male role model. Not taking anything away from those who prefer to keep a lower profile when it comes to how we express our love for our family and friends, and our communities. May we all take the time to tell those in our lives , how much they mean to us. This life is surely an adventure, and my wish is that we continue to look to our hearts in how we see others as our brothers and sisters and our parents in our own children, and we are all in this together. Let’s be just a little better than we were yesterday. Love and light to all.

  • Such a wonderful write up, thank you miss Kym! You have been very kind in this situation (and all others).
    Again, Rest In Peace Tim, I’ll see you on the other side.

    • He’s together again with his Mother just waay to soon sadly!!! RIP Tim you deserve a rest after all you did for this area while you were on this Earth for such a short time!!!!

  • Thank you Kym for another wonderful post about my brother!!!

  • Thank you Kym for another wondrful article about my brother

  • One series of extraordinarily immoral acts do not make a person evil or worthless, but his actions have caused a great deal of harm to the community. So when I read “Smith who died of gunshot wounds earlier this month was honored for his commitment to the community.” I cringe a little.

  • Thank you Kym for the very nice write up the memorial, I wasn’t able to attend and the description, the videos and picture were good for my soul, I’ll miss Tim, he was good man and a good friend, I’m honored that I was able to know him and his wonderful family, Peace be with them all.

  • I don’t really understand “people” like HOJ, Honeydew bridge chump and hmm, Are they really so perfect that they feel that they can judge others in their private lives. Get a grip on your own life, and being so perfect, go out into the world and make a difference, A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE.

    • He wouldn’t be the victim of violence if he was a tad more “moral”. That was the point that those guys were making I think

      • Honeydew Bridge Chump

        That was the point and the comment about putting two women on the shirt was just wrong.

        They have to carry that, those thoughts, live with the what if’s, and it won’t go away.

        I’m sorry I wrote it.

    • Even with all their bitterness,we all know tim would still be one of the first people to be there to save there Ass.
      It realy doesn’t matter how they feel about him, the actions of his peers and his community speak volume.

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      HoJ isn’t perfect in the slightest, yet is one of the most judgmental. He’s already been in the local news for not being very nice and getting banned from various comment sections for his poor behavior.

      That said, let’s stop commenting on who or what sort of person Tim was and just give the guy a decent farewell.

  • Rest in Peace. Condolences to all.

  • Thank you Kym for the beautiful description of a wonderful man, husband, & father. I pray for those who feel they have to try to say hurtful things at this time of sorrow. Loving thoughts & prayers to Captain Tim Smith;s family & friends.

  • [The commenter known as Fritz Harmann has been banned. His last comment was rude but looking over his other comments indicated that he frequently made unacceptable comments. He was warned and yet continued. So I banned him. Kym]

  • Thank you Kym for a BEAUTIFUL write up for such an AMAZING man who will FOREVER be missed!!!

  • Kym very nicely put, you have a very nice heart indeed. We all make mistakes May the families find peace during this tough time

  • I first met Tim in the early 90’s,I was immediately impressed with his work ethic,as I got to know him,his character only became better,time was a very good man and I am proud to know him,and this world is a better place because of him,hell be missed,my condolences to jessica and family,rip in peace brother

  • What did he expect??!!

    Fuck ur web site then!!! Freedom of speech when someone writes something true and you know it and you choose not to put it up its you covering the truth and you picking and choosing to publicize others and let others post but that’s if you have a thought on the matter and then if you do, you go off but don’t relize the true facts or ur just covering for that person’s unrighteousness of act or thought!!!! And I’ve supported ur web site for a long time but I’m tired of you not posting people’s comments, I hear a lot you don’t post things the “Facts”……..lost coast people they post freedom of speech and the facts and don’t drag pages out for publicity, where people finally get tired of seeing it and say something but Ktm you cover that up by not posting freedom of speech!!!!

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