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Pete George (1966-2015)

Pete George (1966-2015)

pete

San Diego Fire-Rescue Engineer Peter George answered his last alarm on March 5, 2015 peacefully joining the departed while sleeping due to a stroke at the age of 48. Peter began his career with the Fire-Rescue Department in July 1990 as a Fire Recruit. He promoted to the rank of Fire Engineer in September 2009.

Peter was born at Mercy Hospital on May 20th 1966 in San Diego, California. He grew up in Rancho Bernardo a beautiful peaceful community. He attended St. Michael’s School in Poway from 1st grade thru 8th grade. He graduated from Poway High, went on to Miramar College, and worked at Sony before entering the Army. He joined the San Diego Fire Department in 1990, it was his second family. He married and is survived by his wonderful son Carson.

Peter had a generosity and kindness that would not quit. He loved to tease, joke, and live life to it’s fullest, like the time he drove the family car in fast circles in the church parking lot at the age of 13. Maybe these early high speed maneuvers prepared him for his future job as Fire Engineer

Peter loved his family and friends, loved his job, and loved to read. He was adored by his nieces, nephews, and cousins. From early childhood Peter always had a pack of friends where ever he went. Peter was a huge Chargers fan faithfully purchasing season tickets each year and enjoying tailgating with his friends.

Peter was a loving father whose thoughts were always with his son as his last text message the day was taken from this world was to to his son Carson “Put in the time studying and you will do well.”

Peter leaves behind his son Carson the love of his life, his father George, his mother Jo Ann, his brothers Greg, Jeff, sister Jennifer, and all his extended family and many great friends.

Donations

The George family is requesting all donations to be sent to the San Diego Fireman's Relief Association & FirefighterAid at:

FirefighterAid
10509 San Diego Mission Rd. Suite F
San Diego CA 92108


(Make checks payable to FirefighterAid)

Tax ID # 33-6091348

Remembrances

Cards and donations may be made to the George family at the address below:

Peter George Family

C/O San Diego Fireman's Relief Association

10509 San Diego Mission Rd. Suite F
San Diego CA 92108

Links:

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Our Programs

Cadet Scholarship Fund

Cadet Scholarship Fund

Funding the Future

The FirefighterAid Cadet Scholarship Fund (CSF) was created to provide financial aid for Fire Cadets who are making an impact in their community. This scholarship is a one-time award that benefits multiple Cadets. Cadets who have previously received an CSF may apply a second time, but may receive the award no more than two times.



Awarded amounts are determined every year based on number of applicants and at the discretion of FirefighterAid’s Board of Directors. The CSF is funded entirely by FirefighterAid and its donors. Donors can receive a tax benefit for making contributions to this fund. For information or questions please email Gabby Rockwell grockwell@sdfra.org.

Congratulations to all of our scholarship winners!

Hear from our Fire Scholar Recipients

Ryan Latney - Firefighter & 2019 Fire Scholar Recipient

My name is Ryan Latney and I was a cadet for about 3 years before I got hired with San Diego fire rescue. I grew up in San Diego and took classes at both Miramar and Mesa college. Balancing school, working as a seasonal firefighter for the United States Forest Service and being a battalion chief for the cadets was not an easy task, especially affording all of the costs that comes with it: classes, gas, food, textbooks and more.

While I was in the process of getting hired with San Diego City, I was awarded the FirefighterAid Cadet Scholarship which helped me tremendously. I was able to pay everything I owed to schools as well as contribute some of the money to a new laptop to help me with my studies. The people working for FirefighterAid were nothing but kind and generous and allowed me to fulfill my lifelong dream of working as a firefighter for the city of San Diego.

This job means the world to me and being able to help people in need alongside my brothers and sisters is everything I’ve ever wanted and more. I can’t wait to see what else this job has to offer for me.

Tristan De Guzman - Firefighter & 2016 Fire Scholar Recipient

My name is Tristan de Guzman. I have the privilege of being able to say that I am a new Firefighter for San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. I am embracing this new opportunity that allows me to serve the city that I know and love. Being a Firefighter brings a variety of challenges and ways to serve the communities and citizens of San Diego. It is a calling that allows me to be a light in someone’s darkest day. I love how this job allows me to be someone that others look to when they need help. 



The FirefighterAid Fire Scholars scholarships were a huge blessing to my success. Before the academy, I was a student at Point Loma Nazarene University studying Kinesiology. I was also a Cadet with San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. In addition, I was working part-time hours as an EMT on an ambulance. To say the least, I had my hands full. The scholarship helped me tremendously for my schooling and allowed me to focus solely on being a Firefighter. It was humbling to be a recipient of this scholarship and to have this organization supporting me every step of the way. I am grateful to have so many supporters and now I get to say I am living my dream everyday. I am extremely thankful to the FirefighterAid program’s assistance because they were a big contributor to making my dream a reality.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So, keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs

Shane Sakoda - Firefighter & 2016 Fire Scholar Recipient

My name is Shayne Sakoda; I am a new Firefighter for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. I believe that being a Firefighter means you should give back to those who are in need. I chose to be a Firefighter because I have a passion for helping my community and those who are in need.

Before getting hired, I put in many hours and a lot of effort into becoming a Firefighter, especially as a San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Cadet. The FirefighterAid Fire Scholars scholarship I received helped me tremendously. I probably wouldn’t be a Firefighter yet if it weren’t for the generosity of that scholarship. I wouldn’t have been able to take off work as much as I did, afford to pay for school, and put in my time as a Cadet doing ride-alongs, and volunteering within the community. Many people helped me along the way to get to where I am now including friends, family, and mentors. FirefighterAid made a huge difference in my life and I greatly appreciate them!

“To do more for the world than the world does for you, that is success.” – Henry Ford

Congratulations to all our past recipients!

2015
Spencer Anthes, Jack Doxtader, Dustin Gregg, Ethan Hazlett, Joe Martino, Nick Schell
2015
Noah Costa, Aaron Gutierrez, Nick La Rocca, John Marlow,
Will Molenkamp, Jordan Poindexter
2015
Miguel Acosta, Miguel Cervantes, Aaron Gutierrez, Benny Hernandez, Ryan Latney, Daniel Wilson
2015
Chase Brown, Miguel Cervantes, Savien Gill, Ryan Pablo, Joseph Schottmiller, Alex Volk
2015
Branden Sade, Chloe Cole, Daniel Warren, Erika Nilsson, Tyler Beatty, Xavier Bartig
2015
Tristan De Guzman, Jared Creamer, Daniel Warren, Shayne Skoda, Hanna Wells, Luke Snyder
2015
Tristan De Guzman, Blaise VandenBrulle, Carlee Carter, Lauren Vanderwalle, Megan Kinnaman

Interested in applying for or donating to the Cadet Scholarship Fund?

We are proud to be able to fund our future heroes with your generosity and interest. Reach out to us today to see how you can get involved.

Get in touch with us

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Our Programs

Fire Family Services

Fire Family Services

What is Fire Family Services?

Fire Family Services is a behavioral health and counseling unit that focuses specifically on Firefighters and fire families. Our comprehensive and population-specific support services puts SDFRA-FFS on the forefront of providing competent and appropriate counseling and educational services to San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.



This program prides itself on being able to do the right job at the right time. Specifically, we shape our support services to meet the emerging needs of our firefighters and their families. With great reverence to the community we serve, we have developed specialized counseling support within a context that is culturally sensitive, as well as culturally relevant.

Fire Family Services is a subsidiary corporation of the San Diego Fire Relief Association, incorporated in the Sate of California, and conforms to IRS regulations regarding 501(c)4 corporations.

Mental Health Resources:

Are you or do you know a former Firefighter in need of assistance?

Contact us if you know of anyone who is in need of help. We’re always here to support our community in any way we can.

Get in touch with us

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Our Programs

Relief Crew

Relief Crew

Join the Relief Crew

Tragically, several of our SDFD friends are currently battling cancer. As expected, many brothers and sisters have stepped up to volunteer their time to help them. FirefighterAid, the nonprofit side of the San Diego Fireman’s Relief Association, oversees the backend of this process by creating schedules, assessing needs, and essentially making it easier for volunteers to provide help. 



Many people routinely contact FirefighterAid tell us they want to volunteer or to help. So we’ve decided to create a database of do gooders who are interested in stepping up to help our own when needs arise.



Examples of needs include: driving Firefighters to appointments, mowing lawns, cleaning up yards, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and more. Once signed up, you’ll receive periodic emails detailing volunteer opportunities. Please don’t let the fact that you live remote from San Diego be a barrier to signing up…others may live in the same area and might someday need your help! Join us and be one of the good guys!

Are you or do you know a former Firefighter in need of assistance?

Contact us if you know of anyone who is in need of help. We’re always here to support our community in any way we can.

Get in touch with us

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Our Programs

Aging Heroes

Aging Heroes

What is Aging Heroes?

Aging Heroes is a program that provides supportive care and resources to low-income and or elderly Firefighters and widows. These elderly community servants have been exposed to significant health hazards before modern safety equipment. Aging Heroes ensures that our elderly public servants and their loved ones do not slip through the cracks.

Are you or do you know a former Firefighter in need of assistance?

Contact us if you know anyone who is in need of help. We’re always here to support our community in any way we can. 

Get in touch with us

Categories
Our Programs

Cancer Awareness & Prevention Program (CAPP)

Cancer Awareness & Prevention Program (CAPP)

What is CAPP?

In 2015, we launched our CAPP program to try and get to the bottom of the question, “What’s killing our firefighters?” – the answer wasn’t fire. Today’s firefighter will most likely not die in a fire saving a life; they will die in a hospital bed from work-related cancer. 2015 revealed shocking statistics of firefighters battling work-related cancers. Cancers that we believe to be preventable. CAPP was founded with the sole purpose to reinforce best practices of firefighters in the workplace specializing in Clean Air, Clean Body, and Clean Gear.



The program includes a mandatory cancer training class, an impact video, warning identifiers, behavioral and cultural changes to prevent cancer, and posters of peers in every fire station and apparatus. Most importantly, our CAPP Program is on a mission to break down stereotypes of what it means to be a firefighter and educate them on how to protect themselves every day from the threat of cancer.

CAPP Resources

One of our program’s main goals is to share what we’ve built and make our program available to Firefighters everywhere for free. Yes, we said FREE! 


It’s easy for any fire station or department to take what we have created and implement it to start making change. From our informative posters of peers who have battled cancer and won, to warning and identifier stickers place throughout the stations to serve as reminders, and the most impactful piece of our program…our 8-minute CAPP video.

Videos

The Impact Film

Our video took six months to produce and shares the life-changing stories of 12 San Diego Fire-Rescue Department cancer survivors on their journey to protect and serve the public, but found themselves being the ones who needed assistance. These brave men and women opened up to FirefighterAid and our film producer, Jason Curtis, about their journey. They shared things they could have done differently and what they now do differently to protect themselves.



A special thank you to the brave men and women who have shared their stories to affect positive change.

The Presentation

In this one-hour video you will see the entire CAPP presentation as delivered by our CAPP Ambassador, Kurtis Bennett to a group of San Diego County’s top fire personnel. Kurtis spent years researching firefighter occupational cancers, interviewing and connecting with researchers, authors, and firefighters to build a straightforward approach to fighting occupational cancer. Our presentation is broken down into three simple components and focuses on behavioral changes that is easily be applied to any fire station and department.



See just how easy it is to implement the 3 C’s (Clean Air, Clean Body, Clean Gear) into your department’s every day routine.

Station Posters

Station Identifier Stickers

Helmet Stickers

If you believe in staying on air,
If you believe in washing your gear,
If you believe in doing the small things every day that stand to make a big difference over the course of your career,
Then put this sticker on the back of your helmet and show everyone that you believe in doing the right thing!

Additional Information

You don’t have to know everything, but you should know yourself and your body pretty well. So if something seems off, you should head to your health care provider and talk to them about it as soon as possible. Listen to your friends, coworkers, and family – they know you pretty well too. While we don’t want anything to ever happen to you, we do want you to be healthy and well taken care of. Being a firefighter or the family of a firefighter can be difficult, and there are many health hazards that can come with the job. That being said, even if you are curious, you should be screened for cancer. Early detection can make a world of difference for many cancer warriors.

It can be very scary, and we understand that. However, you are NEVER alone. We are here for you; your brothers and sisters in the fire service are here for you; and your family is here for you. Please be sure to get regular screenings, wipe down and shower after responding to a fire, wash your turnouts, and wear your breather to help reduce your risks. Additionally, keep yourself educated.

Check out some of the additional resources below to be sure you know warning signs, possible carcinogen origins, and more. If you have questions, please talk to your health care provider as soon as possible. We are all here with you through this journey.

Cancer Prevention Resources

Begin your journey to a cancer-free
station and department.

Building a successful cancer program won’t happen over night, but we’ve given you a great place to start! All the tools you need to start saving firefighter lives are already at your disposal! Yes, you can always do more and purchase the fancy tools to help aid you in your journey, but you can start for free today.



So, why are you still here?! Be a part of the positive cultural and behavioral change and get our CAPP Program in your fire station or your department now! That’s right, we said FREE.

Get in touch with us

Categories
San Diego Fire Relief Association

Cadet Scholarship Fund Recipient Stories

The FirefighterAid Cadet Scholarship Fund (CSF) was created to provide financial aid for Fire Cadets who are making an impact in their community. This scholarship is a one-time award that benefits multiple Cadets. Cadets who have previously received an CSF may apply a second time, but may receive the award no more than two times.

Awarded amounts are determined every year based on number of applicants and at the discretion of FirefighterAid’s Board of Directors. The CSF is funded entirely by FirefighterAid and its donors. Donors can receive a tax benefit for making contributions to this fund. For information or questions please email Gabby Rockwell grockwell@sdfra.org

Congratulations to all of our Scholarship winners!

FIREFIGHTER, AND 2019 FIRE SCHOLAR RECIPIENT, RYAN LATNEY SHARES HOW THIS IMPACTED THEIR CAREER

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My name is Ryan Latney and I was a cadet for about 3 years before I got hired with San Diego fire rescue. I grew up in San Diego and took classes at both Miramar and Mesa college. Balancing school, working as a seasonal firefighter for the United States Forest Service and being a battalion chief for the cadets was not an easy task, especially affording all of the costs that comes with it: classes, gas, food, textbooks and more.

While I was in the process of getting hired with San Diego City, I was awarded the FirefighterAid Cadet Scholarship which helped me tremendously. I was able to pay everything I owed to schools as well as contribute some of the money to a new laptop to help me with my studies. The people working for FirefighterAid were nothing but kind and generous and allowed me to fulfill my lifelong dream of working as a firefighter for the city of San Diego.

This job means the world to me and being able to help people in need alongside my brothers and sisters is everything I’ve ever wanted and more. I can’t wait to see what else this job has to offer for me.

FIREFIGHTER, AND 2019 FIRE SCHOLAR RECIPIENT, BENJAMIN HERNANDEZ SHARES HOW THIS IMPACTED THEIR CAREER
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My name is Benjamin Hernandez, and I am proud to say I am a Firefighter for the City of San Diego Fire Rescue-Department. I graduated from Southwestern College with an associate degree in Fire Science Technology. While attending SWC, I worked part time and I joined the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Cadet Program. I successfully completed the 89th fire academy in 2020. I am very appreciative to those who have supported me through my career accomplishments.

Thank you to FirefighterAid for awarding me with the Cadet Scholarship. This scholarship helped me pay for my tuition at Miramar College when I was pursuing my Firefighter l certificate. Becoming a Firefighter for the City of San Diego is one of my greatest achievements. Making a positive impact and being a good role model for my community makes me feel accomplished on a daily basis.

FIREFIGHTER, AND 2016 FIRE SCHOLAR RECIPIENT, TRISTAN DE GUZMAN SHARES HOW THIS IMPACTED THEIR CAREER

My name is Tristan de Guzman. I have the privilege of being able to say that I am a new Firefighter for San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. I am embracing this new opportunity that allows me to serve the city that I know and love. Being a Firefighter brings a variety of challenges and ways to serve the communities and citizens of San Diego. It is a calling that allows me to be a light in someone’s darkest day. I love how this job allows me to be someone that others look to when they need help. The FirefighterAid Fire Scholars scholarships were a huge blessing to my success. Before the academy, I was a student at Point Loma Nazarene University studying Kinesiology. I was also a Cadet with San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. In addition, I was working part-time hours as an EMT on an ambulance. To say the least, I had my hands full. The scholarship helped me tremendously for my schooling and allowed me to focus solely on being a Firefighter. It was humbling to be a recipient of this scholarship and to have this organization supporting me every step of the way. I am grateful to have so many supporters and now I get to say I am living my dream everyday. I am extremely thankful to the FirefighterAid program’s assistance because they were a big contributor to making my dream a reality.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So, keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

– Steve Jobs

FIREFIGHTER, AND 2016 FIRE SCHOLAR RECIPIENT, SHANE SAKODA SHARES HOW THIS IMPACTED THEIR CAREER

My name is Shayne Sakoda; I am a new Firefighter for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. I believe that being a Firefighter means you should give back to those who are in need. I chose to be a Firefighter because I have a passion for helping my community and those who are in need. Before getting hired, I put in many hours and a lot of effort into becoming a Firefighter, especially as a San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Cadet.  The FirefighterAid Fire Scholars scholarship I received helped me tremendously. I probably wouldn’t be a Firefighter yet if it weren’t for the generosity of that scholarship. I wouldn’t have been able to take off work as much as I did, afford to pay for school, and put in my time as a Cadet doing ride-alongs, and volunteering within the community.  Many people helped me along the way to get to where I am now including friends, family, and mentors. FirefighterAid made a huge difference in my life and I greatly appreciate them!

“To do more for the world than the world does for you, that is success.” – Henry Ford

 
 
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR PAST RECIPIENTS

2020 Scholarship Winners: 

Noah Costa, Aaron Gutierrez, Nick La Rocca, John Marlow, Will Molenkamp, Jordan Poindexter

2019 Scholarship Winners: 

Miguel Acosta, Miguel Cervantes, Aaron Gutierrez, Benny Hernandez, Ryan Latney, Daniel Wilson

2018 Scholarship Winners: 

Chase Brown, Miguel Cervantes, Savien Gill, Ryan Pablo, Joseph Schottmiller, Alex Volk

2017 Scholarship Winners: 

Branden Sade, Chloe Cole, Daniel Warren, Erika Nilsson, Tyler Beatty, Xavier Bartig

2016 Scholarship Winners: 

Tristan De Guzman, Jared Creamer, Daniel Warren, Shayne Skoda, Hanna Wells, Luke Snyder

2015 Scholarship Winners: 

Tristan De Guzman, Blaise VandenBrulle, Carlee Carter, Lauren Vanderwalle, Megan Kinnaman

Categories
San Diego Fire Relief Association

Honoring Ryan Ferrara (1981-2020)

RYAN FERRARA  1981-2020

SDFD Engineer/Paramedic Ryan Ferrara answered his last alarm on July 18, 2020. Ryan spent more than 13 years on the job. His life was tragically cut short in an off-duty motorcycle accident. He was man who was always smiling and loved to be outdoors – riding motorcycles, surfing, and more. Ryan started working for the city in 2001 as a lifeguard and made the transition to become a Firefighter Paramedic in 2007.  

His family and friends hosted a livestream of a private ceremony to celebrate his life. Due to the state-mandated COVID-19 measures of 2020, the family was not able to host an in-person service. To honor Ryan, they hosted a livestream of the service from multiple social media outlets to allow for friends, family, and firefighter family to join.

After the private ceremony, there was an opportunity for friends and loved ones to share their support from within their vehicles by participating in an Honor Procession beginning on Quivira Way in Mission Bay. Personnel were on location to assist in the formation of the procession. Additionally, there was a sunset paddle out, a Station 21 tradition, in his honor.

The Ferrara Family truly appreciates your understanding and thanks you for all the love, support, and compassion. Ryan, may you rest easy now and let your fire family carry the load.

LINKS:

7/31/2020 – Ryan Ferrara’s Celebration of Life Private Service

Hundreds remember San Diego Firefighter killed in motorcycle crash

Friends Remember Fallen Firefighter

Categories
San Diego Fire Relief Association

Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month

FIREFIGHTER CANCER AWARENESS MONTH:​

January 2021 marked the start of a new year and a new, national initiative called Firefighter Cancer Awareness Month. This digital movement shares ways to #FightFFCancer in stations across the country using educational resources from Firefighter Cancer Support Network and International Association of Fire Firefighters. Mixing their resources with our own, we spent the month sharing how fire stations can implement our Cancer Awareness and Prevention Program into their daily station life with the focus on the 3 C’s: Clean Air, Clean Gear, Clean Body.

We created a new CAPP video to share with the world that was featured at the top of the IAFF resources page! It featured some old faces and some new cancer warriors to highlight that this is an ongoing issue that will only get worse if we don’t step up and change Firefighter culture now. With nearly 1,000 views in the first few days of it’s launch, we know this video is encouraging Firefighters to fight occupational cancer by knowing their risks, getting regular examinations, and continuing to educate themselves on best practices.


Special thank you to MADE by J.Curtis for his help in producing a beautifully, impactful video to help in the fight against Firefighter cancer and for Local 145 and San Diego Fire-Rescue Department for supporting us during FFCAM. It was a perfect way to kick off the new year and share CAPP with stations nationwide!

FirefighterAid’s Cancer Awareness and Prevention Program is a double win for me. Personally, as a full-time firefighter, I have been able to learn about the simple, everyday actions that I can implement to make sure I am combating the ever-increasing presence of occupational cancer among firefighters. I have seen the impact our program has had on other firefighters and fire departments when they “buy-in” and adopt the program’s best practices and work towards safer work practices.
Our goal is to make sure that every firefighter in San Diego County has access to this program so they too can accomplish the ultimate goal, making it to retirement healthy so they can enjoy the fruits of their labor. 
– Brandt Truver, SDFD