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October 2, 2002
Deepa Bharath COSTA MESA -- Firefighting means much more than just a livelihood to those who do it. They call it a "fire family." Be it New York, Washington, D.C. or Costa Mesa, the men and women who risk their lives to save others are linked by an invisible bond, Costa Mesa Fire Chief Jim Ellis said. That is why the chief said he will accompany seven Costa Mesa firefighters as part of the department's Honor Guard to participate for the seventh consecutive year in the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Washington, D.C. this weekend.
By: Tsolik Kazandjian | October 5, 2005
Firefighters have a blaze that consumed 1,100 acres of brush over four days in the Verdugo Mountains, but not without some help from local businesses and nonprofits, who were called upon to help authorities as they worked around the clock fighting fire. "They're supplying food, sandwiches, anything we need all over the place," said Kirk Wishart, an engineer with Burbank Fire, adding that Wienerschnitzel even hauled a trailer to a firefighter camp to feed personnel.
By Kelly Strodl | January 17, 2008
Usually in a class of firefighters, some are bound not to make it through the grueling, yearlong training. But not this time. Newport Beach firefighters welcomed all eight recruits into their ranks on Thursday at a special ceremony. “It was a tough process but you pull together and do what you’ve got to do,” firefighter Ryan O’Leary said. “There were times when you get a little discouraged, but you see the light at the end of the tunnel and know your hard work paid off.” O’Leary, 23, a Mission Viejo resident, studied firefighting at Santa Ana College, studied emergency medical training at Saddleback College and worked as an ambulance operator for Huntington Beach.
December 28, 2004
Marisa O'Neil Usually when firefighters and paramedics get a call, it means someone's hurt or injured and needs help. But on Sunday morning, Newport Beach firefighters faced probably the best-case scenario they could hope for when a baby just couldn't wait to show her face. In fact, the baby was so impatient, she came before paramedics made it to the scene, meaning the firefighters had to deliver the baby themselves. "It was the day after Christmas," said firefighter Jason Leftige, who helped deliver the baby.
October 6, 2004
BRYCE ALDERTON Part of the intrigue of golf is stepping onto the tee at a course you've never played before. You don't know what to expect, making each shot a new adventure in itself. One of the pluses of writing about golf is receiving invitations in the mail to play in charity golf tournaments. Most are held on Mondays, perfect since it's one of my days off. In June I had the opportunity to play in a Monday tournament at the Navy Golf Course in Seal Beach.
By Mike Reicher | May 22, 2012
Newport Beach firefighters will pay more toward their pensions, and newly hired firefighters will receive less in their retirement, according to a union contract the City Council unanimously approved Tuesday. With the increased contributions and a less generous retirement plan, Newport joins a growing roster of California cities reforming their pensions and saving long-term employment costs. "This is about finding balance about what is fair for our dedicated employees, and what is fair for taxpayers," said Councilwoman Leslie Daigle.
September 7, 2003
Marisa O'Neil Friends, family, firefighting and faith all played important roles in Capt. Al Schmehl's life. All of these roles were well represented Saturday at Mariner's Church in Irvine where more than one hundred area firefighters, along with friends and his fellow parishioners from New Harvest Community Church came together to honor Schmehl. The 29-year veteran of the Newport Beach Fire Department, died Aug. 27 after a seven-year battle with brain cancer.
August 29, 2003
Deepa Bharath Alan Schmehl never went half way. When he took up a project, he always completed it and gave it everything he had. That's how Newport Beach Fire Capt. Rich Thomas remembers his former colleague and fire captain, who died Wednesday after a long and arduous battle with a rare form of brain cancer. Schmehl, 52, had served the fire department for 29 years. He was diagnosed with the cancer in 1995 after he collapsed on the job. His cancer was the result of continuous exposure to toxic substances on the job, Newport Beach Fire Chief Tim Riley said.
May 16, 2005
Lindsay Sandham Firefighters from the Costa Mesa Fire Department responded to a blaze that engulfed a wood structure in less than five minutes at 2:31 p.m. Sunday. This wasn't a five-alarm fire and no one was injured -- in fact the fire was intentionally started by the fire department as part of the city of Costa Mesa's 11th annual Public Safety Expo held at the Placentia Fire Station. The structure-fire demonstration was one of many live exhibits designed to teach the public about the duties of firefighters and police officers, as well as give the public an opportunity to see the equipment purchased with tax dollars and to ask questions.
By Jeremiah Dobruck | November 19, 2013
The mother of a firefighter who died battling the Yarnell Hill Fire started legal action this week alleging negligence and a cover-up in the death of her son and 18 other firefighters. Grant McKee, a 21-year-old who grew up in Costa Mesa, was one of 19 firefighters from the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew killed June 30 while they fought flames that scorched thousands of acres in Arizona. Costa Mesa resident Marcia McKee's lawyers Thursday sent notice of her $36-million claim to a dozen officials for the state of Arizona, Yavapai County and city of Prescott, where McKee's crew was based.
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