On February 9th, Jeanie and Dennis O’Brien (past President of CAL FIRE Local 2881) lost their son, Kevin Patrick O’Brien, tragically to lung cancer. Kevin was the light of their lives and will be missed. He was 41 and had worked as an electrician foreman for Berg Electric for 21 years and lived in Escondido. “He is now an Angel, I guess God needed a damn good electrician”.
Cards may be sent to:
Dennis and Jeanie O’Brien
14760 E 50th Street
Yuma, AZ 85367
(Psst.. You don’t really have to be retired to join us for breakfast)
Thur. Mar. 16 Prunedale- Country Kitchen
Thur. Apr. 20 Hollister- Country Rose
Thur. May 18 King City- Lawrence’s (old Keefers)
Thur. Jun. 15 Salinas- Black Bear Diner
Sat. Jul. 29 Jack Clark’s- Annual BBQ
Thur. Aug. 17 Hollister- Country Rose
Thur. Sep. 21 King City- Lawrence’s (old Keefers)
Thur. Oct. 19 Salinas- Black Bear Diner
Thur. Nov. 16 Prunedale- Country Kitchen
Thur. Dec. 21 Hollister- Country Rose
Thur. Jan. 18 Salinas- Black Bear Diner
If you have any questions or comments email the CAL FIRE Local 2881 District 4 Retiree Director Steve Norris at email@example.com or (831) 214-5538.
The new year represents new beginnings – establishing resolutions and goals. For one local hero, his only resolution is to have a life-saving surgery. But he can’t do it alone.
Newcastle resident Ronnie Denton, 48, needs a kidney transplant. And with a transplant waiting list of five to seven years, death is imminent without the community’s help to locate a donor.
It’s a kind of role reversal for Denton, who is retired after 31 years with Cal Fire/Placer County Fire.
“It is truly humbling to come before the very community I served and ask for help,” he said. “I have polycystic kidney disease or PKD, which I was diagnosed with 15 years ago after I fought a working structure fire and subsequently experienced right back/flank pain.”
At Sutter Auburn faith, an ultrasound enabled his doctor to confirm the source of Denton’s pain.
“I had no idea what … PKD was or how it would affect my life,” Denton said. “Now after retiring from Cal Fire, my kidneys are getting worse. I have been hospitalized multiple times at UC Davis Med Center. My reality is, I need help and, as one who has always protected, saved and served people of our community, this is really tough to ask. Please, if you can, respond to my 911 call, I would be ever so grateful.”
Denton is well known in the area. He began his career as a fire explorer and went on to become an ambulance explorer EMT, EMT, firefighter and driver operator. He achieved the rank of company officer (equivalent to a captain) and served in multiple fire houses in Placer County prior to his industrial medical retirement. During his three-plus decades of service, he estimates he responded to more than 100,000 emergency calls with every imaginable incident from delivering a baby to holding an accident victim’s hand as they succumbed to injuries at the scene.
Finding a donor match for Denton is a priority, donor advocate and friend Nikki Ridge said.
“We have got to find Ronnie a match now,” Ridge said. “He is facing life-altering dialysis. The time is critical in locating a match because the process to become a donor takes so much time. He is getting weaker by the day and more fatigued.”
The deceased donor program is not a workable option for Denton because of the long wait.
“We cannot wait that long! Our friends and family have all gone through the viability phase of testing with no matches identified,” Ridge said. “Please, I beg every single adult in our community, let’s come together for our community member. Let’s come together for one who has dedicated his entire life to serving his very community. Let’s rally to get the job done, quickly. We desperately need help, hope, a kidney and healing prayers.”
Denton has battled and won the fight against cancer, cardiac issues, high blood pressure, left ventricular hypertrophy, multiple hernias, burns and lacerations. He is still dealing with back strain, as well as the mental and psychological stress of going from one critical incident call to another with no in-between time or debriefing, all while working 72 hour-shifts, he said.
The process to become a potential donor involves a preliminary match test, which is simple, free and painless, Ridge said. For more information on becoming a kidney donor, call the UC Davis Living Donor Transplant Office at (916) 734-2307. For more information on how to help Denton find a kidney, fill out the Living Donor Questionnaire at https://ld.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/donor/pages/donor.faces
We are deeply saddened by the loss of our sister, Sara Thomas. A loving mother and fellow firefighter who battled hard, but has left us too soon. Sara will be missed but she will not be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sara’s family and her brothers and sisters in Riverside.
The CAL FIRE Family received some devastating news. FF Mitch Militano’s daughter, Francesca, was diagnosed with Stage IV Stomach Cancer. Mitch Militano is a Firefighter at NEU Station 77, The Sunset Station in Placer County. He is set to be laid off on 11/14 with the brush down staffing. Obviously this will be a long process and his bills will be mounting. The family will need help with medical coverage.
Mitch’s fellow firefighters and friends have set up a “Go Fund Me” account. Consider sharing the link provided to help his family as they go through this tough time. Also, please keep the Militano family in your thoughts and prayers.
As we observe Veterans Day today, I want all of us to recognize and remember the sacrifices of the men and women of our armed services throughout the history of our great country. CAL FIRE Local 2881 has many members who have served either in the past or present branches of the military. These individuals are an exclusive group of people who should truly be honored for all their sacrifices.
Please take a moment today and thank all veterans who have served, especially those families who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
On Saturday Oct. 15th, the California Fire Foundation hosted the annual California Firefighters Memorial Ceremony in Capitol Park, the historic grounds of California’s State Capitol in Sacramento.. The annual ceremony honors individuals whose names are being added to the Memorial Wall – either from the previous year, or from earlier years. This year 29 names were etched into the Wall. As it did when the Memorial was unveiled, the ceremony features a solemn procession from the Capitol steps to the Memorial site. Every California governor, from Gray Davis to Jerry Brown, has participated in Memorial ceremonies.