Festive event honors firefighters


They are the silent heroes of this community, and have been since their start here in the 1800s. Firefighters past and present were celebrated July 20 at the ‘Salute to Firefighters’ event hosted by the Fallbrook Historical Society. The promise of family fun brought in a crowd of over 400 people to enjoy the day’s activities.

The historical society presented a slideshow consisting of local heroes’ history, a bagpipe salute by the San Diego County Firefighter Pipes and Drums, and speeches by distinguished guests.

Chief Bill Metcalf of the North County Fire Protection District spoke on the dedication his agency has shown to the community throughout the decades. It continues this legacy he said, “…through the Fire Explorers program and Reserve Firefighters program, both of which target young adults who might be interested in firefighting.”

According to Fallbrook Vintage Car Club President Roy Moosa, up until the mid-1900s firefighting was a community-wide, volunteer-only job. It was not until 1947 that the first fire station was created in Fallbrook, where the Firehouse Broiler restaurant currently stands on Main Avenue.

The slideshow highlighted the volunteer mentality that “is still present in this fire department today,” Metcalf said. The Rainbow station is still fully staffed by volunteers.

The North County Fire Protection District consists of six fire stations, including Rainbow, and covers approximately 100 square miles, protecting about 50,000 people.

Metcalf said, “It is a serious business where people give their lives in order to save others. They go into burning buildings knowing that the structures are going to fall, because they want to help.”

At the end of the program, there was a moment of silence for all those who died while firefighting. “We are eternally grateful to the 19 men in Arizona and all the firefighters that have gone before us,” Metcalf said.

The bagpipes and drums rang out in salute as the ceremony closed.

During the event, children took advantage of getting a close-up look at vintage fire trucks brought in by fire departments from outlying areas. Carlsbad, Escondido, and other towns brought their antique fire trucks for everyone to enjoy. The kids clamored aboard and took pictures with Smokey Bear, while decked out in red fire hats distributed from booths promoting fire prevention.

Free refreshments were provided by the historical society after the program, and entrance was free for the public.

Denise Ector, a Fallbrook area resident, brought her two young boys and infant girl to enjoy the day. She said, “My boys just love the fire trucks, and the firemen are so nice to them. The historical society’s events are always fun for my family.”

Kent Norton, a retired Fallbrook firefighter said that he enjoyed the event because “it is a way to see all the old friends, and the guys you grew up with.”

The Fallbrook Historical Society blended Fallbrook’s firefighter history with present and future ideals to make a memorable ‘Salute to Firefighters.’ The fun-filled day exemplified the community’s gratitude to first responders and was a learning experience too.

The history of firefighters in Fallbrook by Roy Moosa


30 Responses to "Festive event honors firefighters"

  1. Pink   August 1, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Wonderful community event. Thank you firefighters for all you do. Thank you NCFPD and the Historical Society for hosting this.

  2. Me   August 2, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    What do they do? They perform a service and get paid for it….big deal.

  3. retired fire captain   August 2, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    I was there and was very impressed with this event, sponsored by the Historical Society. The presentation, and displays, were nothing short of outstanding. Thank you!

  4. Reply to Me   August 3, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Ya, "Me" you’d think it was a "big deal" if you ever had to call 911 and they responded and saved your life!

  5. Seriously??   August 4, 2013 at 10:16 am

    @Me: The 19 firefighters who were killed fighting the terrible fire in Arizona a few weeks ago won’t be drawing any more paychecks. They put their lives on the line to protect people (like you) and their homes and property. Firefighting is a calling, not just a job. Shame on you Me, although I understand you probably have no shame.

  6. Me   August 4, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    @Seriously…. that’s their job and they get paid for it. It’s sad if they die….but if they don;t like it….don’t take the job.

  7. Seriously??   August 5, 2013 at 11:43 am

    As I said. Firefighting is a calling not just a job. Not just anyone is qualified to be a firefighter, there is rigorous training involved. Stamina and good character are also a requirement. Most firefighters are born, not made. My husband knew he wanted to be a fireman at age 2; so does my grandson, same age. I guess the police force you belonged to didn’t have such a high criteria, you evidently got into it for the pay alone. Sorry for you and also for the people you served, it sounds like they didn’t get much of a bargain.

  8. In retrospect-   August 5, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    You’re a sick dude, Me.

  9. grunt   August 6, 2013 at 10:36 am

    @me – yes, it is a job, yes they get paid for it, like Marines, Cops, and others who are willing to scarifice their life for you. None of the above do it for the money – to all, I think you for your willingness to come to my aid.

  10. Me   August 6, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Why….. In retrospect? Because I don’t get all ga-ga for people who are simply doing a job that they get paid to perform?

  11. Pink   August 6, 2013 at 11:42 am

    No Me, not because you don’t get all ga-ga; but because you have no comprehension and no understanding of what it means to serve. That seems sad to me, not sad for the firefighters, or the Marines, or even the law enforcement officers, who are willing to give up seeing their kids ballgames, miss birthday parties and anniversaries, get called back from vacations and days off, etc, to help others, not for the money so much but because they care enough to stand on that wall so that the rest of us can go to the games, the parties, keep the home fires burning. Clearly you never had that selfless attitude, therefore you don’t understand it. That, my friend, is sad.

  12. Blitz   August 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Firefighters, just like the police and military, are willing to put their lives on the line to protect us. This is not just for a paycheck. Me, why do you resent them being honored for this?

  13. grunt   August 6, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Hey, Blitz, Pink, think he is jealous that he does not have what it takes?

  14. Me   August 7, 2013 at 8:45 am

    You know Pink, not once did I sit and whine when I missed my kids birthdays, had to work holidays, or had to work overtime. I knew the job when I signed up and I did the job as required. That was the way it was done.

    Now all these "first responders" do is whine about pay, whine about benefits, whine about pensions, and so do their wives apparently.

  15. Me   August 7, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Oh and Pink….I spent 8 years as a volunteer fireman, donated one 12 hour shift per week for 10 years as a volunteer EMT and volunteered as an umpire for Little League for 5 years….I’d say that qualifies more as a selfless attitude than these paid firemen claiming Irritable Bowel Syndrome because they had to drive a firetruck in the gay pride parade in San Diego.

    I have tremendous respect for people who volunteer their time or off-duty first responders who stop to help because they’re good people or civilians who stop to lend a hand.

    But paid firemen have turned into perpetual whiners because they didn’t get their 10 minutes over-time….and yes some cops too. Their pensions are the most important things in their lives and those pensions are bankrupting cities nationwide.

    When you sign that employment contract….. it tells you what to expect in your job. You may miss family functions or other things close to you. Tough luck. If you sign it…….then shut-up and do the job.

  16. Pink   August 7, 2013 at 9:50 am

    @Me: My husband was injured in the line of duty (firefighting) not once, and I do mean not once, did he ever complain, he just picked up his cross and continued with his life. His benefits were never that great, he received comp time off rather than OT. He had to fight for his medical. Yet, not once, did he ever say "poor me". You lump everyone in the fire service into one category, you have evidently had a bad experience somewhere along the way, your heart and your mind re apparently closed to the prospect that anyone does their job to serve. I can assure my husband did, he missed games, he missed birthdays, he missed us, but he always loved his job. He also knew what the job entailed when he signed up. He has never whined, never complained, not once. You are a very hard man, did the job do that to you, or were you always this way? BTW my husband attended the event honoring firefighters, not to bring any glory to himself, he wouldn’t take it if it were offered, but to honor his fallen comrads. You might have learned something from this event, if you had taken the time to attend. Harboring hate in your heart and in your soul hurts you and those you care about.

  17. Me   August 7, 2013 at 10:12 am

    He didn’t have to complain Pink……..he just has you to do it for him.

    Come on Pink, all these "civil servants" do now is complain about their pensions. Until recently most of these professional paid whiners didn’t even pay one cent into their pensions….nothing. The taxpayers footed the bill.

    Thirty years ago, we paid 10% into our pensions…AND we had to work for 25 years AND be over 55…..AND our pensions topped out at 50% of base pay on the last year of service…..and I never once heard any first responders complain….they did their jobs.

    No 70%, or 80%, or 90% of pay for pension, no retiring at 50 years of age.

    Just about every day there is some story on the FVN about some benefit for fireman this or fireman that. All this self-congratulatory nonsense.

    Jeez. It’s not brain surgery. 99% of the time they’re getting paid to sit on their rumps at the firehouse.

  18. Pink   August 7, 2013 at 11:09 am

    @Me: How dare you? Does it sound to you like I am complaining? I’m proud of my husband, clearly a situation you have no experience with. As far as I’m concerned you don’t deserve to breath the same air that people like my husband, and other men like him breath. You are the one patting yourself on the back, you are the one wanting some sort of recognition. Perhaps you never received that recognition because you didn’t deserve it. You were a cop, you were a coach, you were a volunteer fireman. Big deal, would you like a medal or a chest to pin it on? My husband took his injury like a man, he doesn’t want or need any praise for the work he voluntarily did. How dare you suggest otherwise. You don’t know him and you certainly don’t know me. It may interest you to know that most retired firefighters become volunteer firefighters after they retire. Many become volunteer chiefs in small, rural communities. They love their job and they choose to serve. The only person that I hear whining, is you.

  19. grunt   August 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    @Me- I think you missed Pink’s point – she was NOT complaining on behalf of the husband, she was responding to you rant. Do you work> Draw a pay check? Do you want good pay and good benifits? that is what the FD wants – but, when the bell rings, they charge into burining houses to pull people out – again -THEY WILLINGLY GO INTO BURNING HOUSES. For that I thank them, as should we all.

  20. Blitz   August 7, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    @ Pink: grunt is right, obviously Me does not have what it takes. Don’t give him another thought or response. He should be ignored.

  21. Me   August 8, 2013 at 8:47 am

    "I can assure my husband did, he missed games, he missed birthdays, he missed us,"

    Sure sounds like a complaint to me Pinky.

  22. Me   August 8, 2013 at 8:53 am

    grunt….it’s a VERY, VERY, VERY, rare occurrence that any of these local yahoos actually pull anyone out of a burning building (99% of the time it’s a neighbor or passerby who do it for free).

    But regardless…that is their job. They should just do it and shut up. They get paid more than enough for what little they actually do.

  23. Seriously??   August 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    @Me: I think people are right about you. You are hard hearted, insensative, and on top of that, you have no class. As a wife and mother myself, I can tell you that under no circumstances was Pink complaining about her husband missing any of those things, she was saying he was willing to do it because of his dedication to the job he swore to uphold. We firemen’s wives, along with military and police spouses understand what our husbands/wives do when we marry them. If you saw a complaint in what Pink said, it was because you WANTED to see it, not because it was actually there. Shame on you for undermining her husband’s service and her own pride in him. Shame on you for the hardness of your heart that you would actually say something like that to a fellow human being, do you feel better when you hurt someone? Some cop you must have been. Not only were you in it for the money, but obviously because of the power trip you could have. Clearly your spouse (if you have one) must have never had cause to say she was proud of you. As far as firefighters sitting on the butts all day, I find it interesting that most firemen are in great physical health, buff to be precise, while many cops I see are walking around trying to keep their pants up over the fat bellies. My advice to you "Me" is to just suck it up, and have another donut.

  24. Me   August 8, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    @Seriously…of course they’re in great shape….when they’re not sitting on their butts at the firehouse…they’re running in the park or lifting weights at the station……ohhh tough work.

  25. LMAO   August 8, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Right Me, sure, okay, whatever you say, and the cops are either eating donuts at their favorite Dunkin’s or having Code 7 at some greasy spoon. Sounds like the firefighters are at least smarter, huh?

  26. Me   August 8, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    Hey at least in between calls for assistance, we patrolled the streets……we didn’t get to sit around the office waiting for the next police call to come in.

    Maybe the firemen should start chopping down weeds throughout the county…

  27. HUH?   August 9, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Yet, amazingly enough Me, you never see a cop when cars are passing you right and left going about 90 mph or using the center divider as a passing lane. My husband used to tell me when he was going to be away on business that if anyone tries to break into the house call 911 and report a fire, the fire department will get to you much quicker than the cops ever will!

  28. Me   August 9, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    The fire department probably would get there faster….after all 99.9% of the time they’re just sitting on their rumps watching TV or playing cards….and getting paid for it.

  29. Check it out   August 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    @Lee I take pretty much everything you say with a very large grain of salt because your total and complete hatred and, quite possibly, jealousy, of firefighters, has clouded any judgement you may have ever had in this regard. What you say here is, of course, absolute B.S. and we both know it. Have you ever actually gone to any of the stations and personally checked this out? Because I can tell you right now, you are full of it. I have nothing against our local sheriff’s department, but the only time I ever see a patrol car is either in front of the substation or in front of Denny’s. The FD, on the other hand, I see moving all the time, especially the Paramedics. Care to check out how many times they have saved someone’s life? For that matter how many structures in and around Fallbrook have burnt to the ground due to poor fire response? That would be….hmmm….none. Evidently a fireman stole your girl or something equally horrendous during your formative years to have created such a cold, mean, cynical attitude. I don’t imagine you are a lot of fun to live with, are you? Are their bad firemen? Sure. Are their bad cops? of course. But for one bad apple there are at least 500 good ones. To lump all firemen or all cops or even all lawyers into one category or another is not only silly, it is ridiculous.

  30. Fire chief   September 21, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    @me: I will pray for your ignorance.


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