Division 8 News: Firefighters and Explorers Honored, Camp 19 Keeps Ganesha Hills Fire Safe

By November 10, 2014LACoFD News

Fourth District County Supervisor Don Knabe hosted his Annual Public Safety Recognition Luncheon on October 30 at Pacific Palms in the City of Industry, where firefighters and law enforcement personnel were all honored for their service to the unincorporated communities of Whittier, Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights. Every year, the “Homeland Heroes” event draws over 600 local community leaders and business representatives to show community-wide support for their local public safety agencies. The East Regional Operations Bureau is proud to see four firefighters selected as Firefighter of the Year:

James-Wheeler-Photo dorsey-2 Waite-3 Michel-3

A 16-year member of our Department, Fire Captain Marvin Dorsey began his career in the fire service 21 years ago with the Arcadia and Upland Fire Departments. Previous training as a firefighter while serving in the Marines transformed his interest of becoming a physician to that of a firefighter and paramedic. A 29-year member of our Department, Fire Captain Jim Wheeler began his career as a firefighter in 1985. Prior to becoming a firefighter, he served seven and a half years in the Air Force and was assigned as a Federal Firefighter. A Fire Captain since 2009, Wheeler is currently assigned to Fire Station 120. He worked many years and became very familiar with the Rowland Heights community as a Fire Fighter Paramedic at Fire Station 119 on Pathfinder Road.

Fire Fighter Dryw Waite has provided lifesaving and emergency services for our Department for the last two years. He has faithfully served the citizens of Whittier and Unincorporated Whittier while working at Fire Station 28 and enjoys serving the community where he was born and raised.

Fire Fighter Paramedic David Michel is an eight year veteran of our Department. He has served the unincorporated community of Whittier for five years while assigned to Fire Station 28. He also served with the United States Marine Corps for four years and was deployed in support of Iraqi Freedom. The East Regional Operations Bureau, Divisions 4 and 8 are grateful to the Supervisor for recognizing those who serve the unincorporated communities of Whittier, Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights. Congratulations to all four of this year’s honorees – a job well done!

Pomona Council Member Thanks Camp 19 for Keeping Ganesha Hills Fire Safe

Ganesha-Hills-story-picOn May 18, Battalion 15 personnel responded to a small brush fire in the Ganesha Hills area of Pomona. Fortunately the fire was quickly extinguished and posed no threat to the residents of this peaceful neighborhood. While attending the Pomona City Council meeting, Division 8 Assistant Fire Chief Dave Stone was approached by Council Member Debra Martin whose council district represents Ganesha Hills. Martin expressed concern over brush clearance and the potential for a major brush fire in the hillside community. Residents living here have never forgotten the Ganesha Hills Fire that began on a September afternoon in 1970, eventually destroying 13 homes.

Stone began working with the City of Pomona, Battalion 15 personnel and Assistant Fire Chief Vince Pena from the Air and Wildland Division to begin collaboration on a Ganesha Hills brush clearance project. With the assistance of the Camps Battalion Chiefs Mike Inman and Steve Olson, Camp 19 Superintendents Lance Schoeman and Curtis Wisman, Camp 19 crews began the difficult task of clearing Ganesha Hills. The task at hand was not easy, not to mention Camp 19 personnel and crews spent several weeks during the summer’s hottest months to complete this difficult project.

Expressing an interest in thanking Camp 19, Martin offered to provide an appreciation meal for those involved. On Thursday, October 23, Camp 19 personnel and crews gathered in the Ganesha Park Pavilion, where lunch was served to all.  Martin thanked Camp 19, letting the crews know that their hard work and efforts did not go unnoticed and, because of them, residents of Ganesha Hills can now rest a little easier.