IRVINE A firefighter/paramedic died Thursday after collapsing during a routine training exercise at the Orange County Fire Authority drill grounds, the OCFA said. James M. Owen, a 30-year OCFA veteran, went into full cardiac arrest just before 11:30 a.m. at OCFA’s headquarters in Irvine. “They had broken for break, and he just collapsed,” OCFA Capt. Greg McKeown said. Owen was taken to Western Medical Center – Santa Ana, where he was pronounced dead at 12:30 p.m. “He was a top-notch firefighter,” McKeown said. “To lose him like this is a tragedy.” Owen began his career with OCFA in 1980, spending most of his tenure at an Irvine station on the agency’s hazardous materials team. McKeown described him as an iconic figure at OCFA, known for his “hard work ethic and zealous generosity.” Owen, 56, is survived by his wife Sharon, sons Jim Jr., Daniel and Kevin.
Story by: OC Register