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Hundreds gather to say goodbye to Yuma volunteer firefighter killed responding to call

Funeral services were held on Tuesday for Darcy Stallings as flags around the state flew at half-staff.

YUMA, Colo — The flag on Main Street shows the emotion everyone is feeling: Yuma is mourning.

"Today is an extremely tough day for our whole community," Yuma Town Manager Scott Moore said. "Very tough."

Flags around the state flew at half-staff Tuesday in honor of Yuma volunteer firefighter Darcy Stallings. He was killed in a car crash while responding to a call in his personal vehicle on Thursday.

In a town of less than 4,000, people from across northeast Colorado gathered to say goodbye.

Businesses, offices and city hall all closed early so that everyone in town could attend the service for a firefighter who lost his life trying to help others.  

"Darcy Stallings was responding to a fire call as a volunteer fireman. He had an accident en route. He so tragically died," Moore said. "We felt that was really the least that we could do to show our support."

Yuma has an all-volunteer fire department. The firefighters don’t make a salary, and often respond to calls in their own vehicles if they aren’t near the fire station.

"All volunteer. Nobody is paid," Moore said. "They do this because they love doing it. They do this because, I feel like, they have a commitment to the community."

The day would be spent facing the unimaginable reality that Yuma lost a man so many called a hero. People from all over the state left what they’d normally be doing on a weekday afternoon and gathered to pay their respects.

"I hope the outpouring of the community will help Darcy’s family get through this as best as they can," Moore said. 

Firefighters, police officers, friends and family came together at the county fairgrounds for a funeral service before Stallings was driven through town one last time on a Yuma fire truck.

The firehouse Stallings called home sat empty as his colleagues led a procession through town.

"It’s just one of them tough days," Jack Roberts said as he watched the procession go by. "Ain’t nothing you can do about it."

Roberts had known Stallings for years. Now it was time to say goodbye.

"It’s a tragedy," Roberts said. "A lot of people from all of Yuma and the surrounding areas and fire departments from all around the state. It’s camaraderie at its best."

To donate to the family, a GoFundMe page has been set up in Darcy Stallings' memory – he leaves behind his wife and two children, ages two and five. 

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