Category Archives: In The Line Of Duty

OCFA firefighter dies after training exercise

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

Vice President Joe Biden memorializes two firefighters for courage beyond the call of duty

1014.bandThousands of uniformed firefighters gathered for a memorial service in Dodger Stadium on Saturday to honor as heroes two firefighters killed in the massive wildfire burning in the Angeles National Forest. Fire Capt. Tedmund “Ted” Hall, 47, of San Bernardino County, and Firefighter Specialist Arnaldo “Arnie” Quinones, 34, of Palmdale, “served with 7011810_600x338dedication, courage and, during their last alarm, with absolute bravery and selflessness,” Los Angeles County Fire Chief Deputy John Tripp said at the service. The touching ceremony lasted a little over two hours, ending with eight firefighting helicopters thundering over the stadium, a fire captain playing taps on a trumpet in centerfield and the Pipes and Drums of California Professional Firefighters playing “Amazing Grace.” Hall and Quinones were killed on Aug. 30 when their truck slipped off a winding dirt road high in the Angeles National Forest. Officials believe the truck might have been overrun by flames from the wildfire, dubbed the Station fire, which has burned 250 square miles and has destroyed more than 80 dwellings. Now an estimated 81% contained, it is the largest fire in modern Los Angeles County history. Though the incident is still under investigation, officials believe that Hall and Quinones may have ordered dozens of people to seek shelter while they fought through flames to search for an escape route. “There are still acts that go above and beyond duty,” 539wVice President Joe Biden told the audience as Secret Service agents stood on the top steps of the dugouts and scanned the crowd. “Two men tell others to hunker down and race out to find a way out – it is above and beyond the call of duty. That’s real courage.” Fire crews came from as far away as New York City and Worcester, Mass., said Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Frank Garrido. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also IQk2pwDzpraised the firefighters’ courage, noting that most people feel a “primal instinct” to run from danger.“Their final moments were on duty, standing for us all.… They stayed and they did battle,” Schwarzenegger said. Biden met privately with each family before the service and then gave a 13-minute memorial speech in which he veered from his prepared remarks repeatedly, speaking in deeply personal terms about the loss of his wife and daughter in a 1972 traffic accident.“There is very little we can do today that is going to provide genuine solace,” Biden told the firefighters’ families. Continue reading

2 Firefighters Killed As Station Fire Grows

L.A. County Coroner’s officials have confirmed that two firefighters were killed when their vehicle overturned in the Angeles National Forest, south of Acton, where fire crews anxiously worked to contain the monstrous Station fire. The 35,000-acre fire threatened over 10,000 homes, 500 commercial properties and 2,000 other structures and rained ash on cars as far away as downtown Los Angeles on Sunday, spreading in all directions in hot, dry conditions. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger urged those in the fire’s path to listen to authorities and get out.

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Charleston Firefighter Line of Duty Death – update

Charleston Fire The owners of a Charleston furniture store that burned down and killed nine firefighters agreed to pay $13,110 in fines but they admitted no wrongdoing, state regulators announced Friday. The Sofa Super Store was initially fined $32,775 for three violations in the June 18 blaze, the nation’s greatest loss of firefighters since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Continue reading