When I'm called to duty god
wherever flames may rage
give me strength to save a life
whatever be its age
Help me to embrace a little child
before it is too late
or save an older person from
the horror of that fate
Enable me to be alert
to hear the weakest shout
and quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out
I want to fill my calling and
to give the best in me
to guard my neighbour and
protect his property
And if according to your will
I have to lose my life
bless with your protecting hand
my children and my wife
August 31, 2017
Mary Kay Blaul was born Mary Kay Moreau on September 28, 1958 at Fort MacArthur US Army Hospital in San Pedro California. She grew up in Seal Beach and attended Huntington Beach High School where she was a cheerleader and graduated in 1976.
After working various jobs including the US Post Office and as a grocery checker she decided to become a firefighter and was hired by the Orange County Fire Department graduating from OCFD Career Academy #7 in November 1985 at the age of 27.
She attended paramedic training in 1988 and worked continuously as a Firefighter/Paramedic for 27 years until her retirement in October 2012. During her career she was assigned to numerous Engine and Paramedic Units including E2, E46, M4, E22, M26, E60, M5, E62, E36, and E13. During her career she was part of the response to many major incidents including the Laguna and Malibu Fires. She was a compassionate and caring Paramedic who loved to take care of people and help them in their time of need.
During the fall of 2015 she was informed that her job caused cancer had worsened and taken a fatal form. From among several treatment options, she chose to have a bone marrow transplant. She was admitted to USC Norris Cancer Center on May 26 and received her bone marrow transplant on June 2, 2016. In and out of the hospital, she battled the worsening complications of the transplant courageously for nearly two years until she was informed there were no more treatment options available to her. Preferring to spend her last days in her home, on August 24, 2017 she was escorted home and put into bed for the last time by OCFA Seal Beach Engine 44, Battalion 8 and Division 1. Seven days later at 0735 on August 31st 2017, in the Seal Beach home where she grew up and surrounded by family, at the age of 57 she passed quietly from this earth.
She is survived by her children Jeremy Ellison, Jeff Ellison, Jacquelyn Fields, her step children Dan Blaul and Sarah Thomas, her adored grandchildren Liam and Brigid Thomas, Justin Ellison, Max and Brynn Blaul, Jossyln and Russell Fields, her sisters Pam and Susie, her brother Jim and her husband Ron.
She is missed terribly and remembered with love.
Age 57 Ron L Castro
November 30, 2016
Fire Fighter Ron L. Castro was born and raised in Santa Ana, California, and graduated from Santa Ana Valley High School in 1967. After high school Ron was drafted into the U.S. Army and served as a Special Forces member in the Vietnam War.
In 1972 he got hired as a firefighter for the Santa Ana Fire Department serving the City of Santa Ana for 40 years. In 2012 the Santa Ana Fire Department was absorbed by Orange County Fire Authority where Ron continued to serve as a firefighter for the next 4 1/2 years until he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April 2016. Ron battled the disease for 8-months until he succumbed to it on 11/30/2016.
He is survived by his parents, sister, wife Michelle, son Brandon, daughters Jennifer and Madison.
Age 68 Gregory Hennessey
January 20, 2014
A 24-year veteran of OCFA, Brother Hennessey died January 20th while on duty at OCFA Station 45 in Rancho Santa Margarita. He was 49.
Hennessey got his start as a volunteer firefighter in New York before moving with his family to California. In 1990, he signed on with OCFA and was promoted to apparatus engineer in 2001. Brother Hennessey was active with the department's Fire Explorer program and also taught at the department's fire academy.
He is survived by his wife, Deanna and sons Ryan and Brandon.
Age 49 John A Lawrence
March 14, 2013
John knew he wanted to be a firefighter ever since he was a child. He was hired by the Orange County Fire Department at the age of 19.
John worked many assignments in his 32 career but he especially enjoyed wildland and ARFF. John spent the latter part of his career at John Wayne Airport Crash Station where he could combine his two passions - fire fighting and flying. John was often envied as “the guy who flew to work", practically taxiing to the front door of his station.
Age 52 Steen Jensen
June 12, 2012
Brother Jensen began his career in with the Orange County Fire Department in 1981 and joined the Laguna Beach Fire Department as a fulltime career firefighter in 1983. He became a paramedic in 1989 and promoted to captain in 2005.
Steen's life outside the fire department was his three beautiful daughters; Shelby, Emily and Anita.
After being diagnosed with cancer Steen took up the guitar and taught himself to play and collected over 20 guitars during his illness.
Brother Jensen was mentor to many on members of the LBFD and will be greatly missed.
Age 50 James "Jimmy O" Owen
September 16, 2010
James Michael Owen, or "Jimmy O" as he was called by everyone, joined the Orange County Fire Department in 1980 where he served as a Paramedic, Hazardous Materials Fire Fighter, and Federal Urban Search and Rescue Team member.
Jimmy was a fireman's fireman. He would take on any task. He was a guy who would literally give you the shirt off his back and would always be there for you. He was a man of great character and a man of his word. He was a faithful and compassionate husband, father and fire fighter who had a great love for his fellow man. Jimmy never judged others. He was the kind of friend who would say good things about you behind your back. Being a Fire Fighter/Paramedic is not what Jimmy did, it was who he was. He touched the lives of many and many of those lives he saved.
Jimmy loved his family. He enjoyed spending time with them camping, off-roading, and surfing. He was also an avid fisherman who often volunteered as a deck hand on a recreational fishing boat and had expressed an interest in obtaining his mariner's license when he retired.
Age 56 Thor Swanson
June 24, 2006
Thor Swanson worked for the Orange County Fire Department since before there was an Orange County Fire Department. Starting with the California Department of Forestry, Thor became a fire fighter, a paramedic, and engineer, then a captain and along the way Orange Country formed a department.
Thor trained and mentored a generation of fire fighters, paramedics, engineers, and captains.
Age 50 Emmett Wells
April 04, 2004
Emmett’s was able to be in multiple places at one time, lending a hand to anyone who needed it. Emmett’s joy in assisting others made this career perfect for him. He arrived early and left late. He eagerly put his crew’s safety gear on the unit and removed it each morning prior to shift change. All day long he looked for things others needed, from training to cooking to simple conversation.
Life around Emmett was a joy and the sound of his laughter will echo in his station for years to come. Emmett was called to his Heavenly Home on Saturday morning, April 3, 2004, at the young age of 48.
Age 48 Robert Wetmore
October 22, 2002
"To have a profound impact on one life is remarkable; to touch thousands like Doug Wetmore did is a miracle." These words were spoken by a friend and brother fire fighter at Doug's service.
A fire fighter for 33 years, Doug leaves a legacy of an untold number of lives touched by his leadership. Doug was a wise mentor, a great listener, encourager, and one who loved to learn. He was a very special man - dedicating himself to helping others.
Age 63 David Grubb
April 21, 1999
Age 42 Thomas O Wall
October 05, 1998
Thomas O. Wall had a heart so big, so packed with love and goodness, that it propelled him happily and equally through his three treasured worlds: family, church, job.
Age 44 Allen C Donelan
September 13, 1998
Allen was a dedicated and enthusiastic firefighter. He loved going to work. One of the ways he shared his love of the fire service was through his work as the Explorer Post Advisor at his station.
Outside of work‚ Allen continued to be active. He herded cattle‚ hunted‚ played roller hockey‚ and was an avid Disney collector. He sought out new adventures constantly.
Allen’s animated and lighthearted spirit infected those around him with the energy‚ persistence‚ and joy of life that was within him.
Age 34 Dennis Donelson
October 04, 1986
Age 46 Michael Chenard
February 24, 1983