by Pam Zubeck
Christopher L. Douglas, affectionately known as “Topher,” was born on November 19, 1971, and grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He moved to California in 1992 when he joined the United States Air Force (Vandenberg AFB) to work on Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles.The annual service is sponsored by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s U.S. Fire Administration. Here is a complete list of those to be honored.
Upon witnessing a car accident scene, Topher knew he wanted to pursue a firefighting career. After five years of volunteer, reserve, and paramedic service, he began work with CAL FIRE in 2004. He was promoted to fire apparatus engineer/paramedic in July of 2012. At his graduation ceremony he received the Carpe Diem Award, which was an honor (recognizing leadership) bestowed on him by his fellow classmates. In addition to his regular role as engineer/paramedic, Topher was responsible for heading the local CPR program.
Where some might cut corners, Topher put his entire being into every endeavor. He was dedicated to self-sacrifice in the effort to love and support his family and to help others. He valued his lifelong friendships and other passions—surfing, playing the guitar, cooking, working on cars, travel, and spending time with family.
While responding to a traffic accident, Topher was struck by a vehicle as it passed his stopped engine. Although his time here was cut far too short and his loved ones feel robbed of being with him longer, there is comfort in knowing he embodied the adage “living life to its fullest” and that Topher enjoyed several lifetimes of experiences in his 41 years.
Thankfully, Topher is survived by a wonderful little boy that looks just like him and a daughter (who he never had the opportunity to meet) that has his happy disposition. Topher’s legacy will continue through the indelible imprint he left on all those he knew and through the lives of his son and daughter. Topher will forever be remembered for his winning attitude, cheerful nature, funny sense of humor, and quite simply the best personality of anyone in a room.
We love you, Toph!
Children: Sammy (3 yrs) & Bridget (infant)