Old Mail #6

8/7/2006-8/12/2007 To go to Old Mail #5 Click Here

8/12/2007 from Tom Neuerburg:

From: Davis, Ryan , ACFD
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2007 5:59 PM

I would like to proudly announce the birth of Marina Ray Moore, 7lbs, 15 oz., 21and ¾ “ long. The baby is very healthy and parents are doing very well. Congratulations Eric! 


        Ryan D 3-B


8/11/2007 from Tom Neuerburg:

Oh Boy!  Oh Boy!

Please join in welcoming

The West Twins!

Proud parents: Randall & Brooklyn

Born: July 27, 2007 at 11:02 & 11:03 AM

Weighing: 4 pounds 11 ounces & 8 pounds 1 ounce

“Mom and babies are doing well”


7/25/2007 from Ben Guild:

Morning Rich, this is Ben Guild for ALCO fire, I'm writing in regards to the golf Tourney. Just wanted you to get the word out to are retired brothers, it is always great to see them and catch up.


Tues. Sept 25th

Dublin Ranch Golf Course

4 Man Scramble/ Shotgun Start

135.00 per person includes Cart/Green fees,BBQ lunch, Awards Dinner, Prizes, Beer/Soda

Deadline to enter is August 24th

Contact Eric Frago (925) 899-2543 or

Ryan Davis (925) 413-1985


         Thanks Rich.... Hope to see everyone there. Ben


7/11/2007 from Dick Kolda:

Thanks for the news of Mel's passing.  I worked with him a couple of times.  Hope you are well.  Dick.


I Just got word that Mel Carroll has passed away.  I don’t have much info.

Service for Retiree Melvin Carroll


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

10:00 AM

St. John's Catholic Church
264 E. Lewelling Boulevard

San Lorenzo, California 94580

Corrine Carroll

420 Poppyfield Court

Lincoln, CA 95648



Melvin Carroll

DOB: 4/24/1923

Retired: 9/1/1978 (from Eden Consolidated Fire Department – Station on 164th Avenue)

Deceased: 6/30/2007


FERG <><


6/10/2007 from Ralph Johnson

A couple of photo's from a recent trip to Lake Havasu and the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Retirement is the best job I have ever had!!

Hope life is treating everyone well!

Ralph Johnson


London Bridge , In the middle of the desert, Lake Havasu City Arizona. Large enough boat kept the large one afloat!!

6/10/2007 from Frank Gattoni:

Hi Rich,

Frank Gattoni here. Just a short note to say that Danny is home from the Marine's for good. It's been a long 5 years. He made three trips over to Iraq and is glad to be done. He’s going to stay with us for awhile and get reconnected with civilian life. We're encouraging him to take some time to settle back into things and figure out what he wants to do with his future. Cindy and I want to give a big thanks to all of you that have asked about and prayed for our son. It meant more than you'll ever know.

                                 Frank and Cindy Gattoni


6/5/2007  from Lynn Staysa


Since you are always looking for good stuff to write about, I thought you’d love this article on Don.  He not only stays busy with the rodeo and ranching, he plays a mean round of golf. (7 HND).  We’re going on a cruise to Alaska in Aug, camping in September and a deer hunting trip to Wyoming in October.  The first part of December is off to Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo.  After that is a knee replacement and well deserved rest.  All is perfect with the family and I always love running into you guys.  Stay safe and God bless you all.

Don & Lynn Staysa


I will put the article in the next issue of the Bresnan…FERG <><


5/18/2007 from Tom Neuerburg:

From: Welch, T, ACFD

Sent: Friday, May 18, 2007 1:48 PM

Subject: Captain Dugan


I received a call from Kevin's wife Vicki saying that his surgery went

well. Kevin underwent surgery to have his Kidney removed because it had

a mass on it. The mass was cancerous but they are confident that they

removed it all.


Please keep your thoughts and prayers with Kevin and his family during

his recovery.


He is at Kaiser Hayward for the next few days and open to visitors, but

please call first.

Tj welch

Battalion chief

Alameda county fire


Sent by electronic leash


5/15/2007 from Tom Neuerburg:

From: Carrizalez, Armigh, ACFD
Subject: : Pancake Breakfast


We raised 1,200 for the burn foundation and served about 270 people. The Rowell Ranch Pancake Breakfast was a success and the following people are to thank! Station 4 B shift and Steve Young, for cleaning the Apparatus Bay, boiling sausages and setting every thing up, you are very much appreciated Capt. Filson. Aisha because of you the place looked great and we had all the help we needed from the Reserves. A huge thank you to all the Reserves who made this pancake breakfast a success. Thank you C shift sta. 4 and Brian Dillingham for the breakdown and clean up of the station. Jess Anderson thank you for all your help and support with the donation letters and pancake flipping. Montes and Guild for picking up the Tables and Capt. Horton and Veronica thank you for your support. Truck 3479 helped us by standing by while 3474 attended the parade, thank you Capt. Chase, Roderick and Chism for your support and station tour. Last of all Luster Knight, as usual you came through for us big time. In Case I forgot anyone I apologize.


Armigh Carrizalez 4C


P.S.  Thank you Training for the use of the Flat bed Truck. That is all!  


5/15/2007 from Frank Wynn:

Hi Rich,


Could you please post the following message for me?  Thanks so much.  Frank


Captain Rachel Hall’s last day on duty is Friday, June 1, 2007.  All are invited to come by Station 17 and share in the fun.

Station 17 crews are providing a barbecue lunch for all who come.  The combo of grill master Steve Gazdik and sauce man Francis Chew makes for the best tri-Tip you have ever tasted.

Mark your calendar and make it a day.

Please pass the word to those who may not see this message.

Thanks from the crew at Station 17 “C” Shift.


Frank Wynn, Cary Thompson, Francis Chew, Gary Patterson and Dave Nguyen.


RSVP would be nice for planning.

4/29/2007 from Greg Fernandez (still on the road):

I was born to do nothing!!!!

4/29/2007 from Floyd Nabonne:


Attached is a photo of me and a self portrait I painted. I would like to let

the fire fighters know that I do portraits from photos if they would like to

have me do one for them, they can contact me. I am willing to pay an

advertising fee to the Bresnan, if it is o.k. to advertise this service.



4/29/2007 from Floyd Nabonne:


Sorry I took so long to get this to you. I'd like to blame it on my age and

memory loss, but the truth is I just procrastinated too long.

It was good to see all those that showed up. I was really happy to see Ray

Jannson there. Unfortunately, not as many of the significant others of the

firefighters showed up that Connie and I had hoped. We were also sorry to

see the low turn out. We may lose the area of Harry's Hofbrau that was

reserved for us. But I will probably still schedule the next retirees lunch.

Here is a list of the retirees that showed up.

Connie and me

Frank Gattoni

George Bungarz

Tom Boggs

Chris Heath

Emil MacDonald

Jim Johnston

Dave Cameron

Darryl and Sue Karg

Ray Brant

Daymon Orr

Lennie Orr

Dale Hartwig

Ed Benotti and his son Danny

Ray Jannson

Bill Klatt

Bill Pedroni

Bruce Ghezzi

Jim Purchio

Fergy and grandson Kyle

Ed Bottorff

Jim and Doris Dorpinghaus

Bill Wood

Buddy Figueira

Jess Anderson

Brian McKenna

4/24/2007 from Michelle Simpson:

Dear FFFC members,


 I would like to take a moment to thank you for all of your support and prayers while I was in Mexico.  I would also like to give you an idea of what went on while our group was down there.  I flew to LA and met up with my brother-in-law (Casey) and the 5 high school students (Morgan, Devon, Georgia, Virginia, and Erin).  We rented a van and stayed the night at Azuza Pacific University (APU) in LA.  We woke up the next morning and the 7 of us drove down to Mexico.  We were prepared for the border crossing and as we approached there was no one around.  We were the only vehicle and we drove slowly through waiting for someone to come out.  Nobody did so we just kept driving waiting for the lights and sirens of the police.  HaHa!  Anyway, we finally made it to our base camp which was run by APU.  We set up our tents, finalized some paperwork, and got the info we needed for the week.  We were provided with breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day, however; we had tacos and soda almost every night instead plus the profits went to the local church there.  Casey and I were a little overwhelmed the first day running around and still not knowing anything about where we were to go and what we were to do for the week.  We were told to attend a leader's meeting first thing in the morning and we would find out then.  At the meeting there were a number of pastors from local church's in the area who had needs.  We found a pastor who needed a roof put on his church and there were a lot of kids in the village as well - exactly what we were prepared for.  We had previously stopped and got soccer balls, baseballs, kick balls, bubbles, marbles, crafts, etc., and tools for a minor construction project.  Morgan, a senior in HS, had done some roofing work in the summer so he was able to give us an idea of the rest of the items we needed.  We were able to purchase all the materials the pastor needed.  I believe we used some type of a galvanized corrugated metal roof.  It took almost 50 sheets to complete the roof and Casey, Morgan, and I completed it in two days.  We found out that the pastor had been praying every day for 6 months that the church's roof would be completed this year for its 25th anniversary.  The girls were amazing with the kids playing games, sports, and doing crafts all day.  The kids just melted your heart.  They were all so thankful and well behaved. And they definitely knew how to play soccer (futbol).  But they were patient with us and didn't mind teaching us a few tricks in ball handling.  We spent four full days at this village.  One day they made us tacos for lunch and the next day we had menudo (which was the best menudo I have ever eaten).  During the middle of the week we had a community service day.  We went to a local school and painted the school bathrooms and fence.


We had chapel services each morning and evening which was great.  It really helped prepare us for the day and it helped us realize that we were not only there to help out others but it truly made us look at our own hearts and see where we were in our lives and our relationship with the Lord.  I would just like to emphasize how much I appreciate all your thoughts and prayers.  I would also like to say thank you to those of you who supported financially.  That was very helpful and aided us in getting the supplies we needed to finish the roof.  Thank you all again and God Bless You (Gracias y Dios Les Bendiga).



FF Simpson 11-C

4/8/2007 from traveling Greg Fernandez

Hey Rich Just thought I'd drop you a line from the Riverwalk in San Antonio !!! Day 15 of our 60 day RV tour of the USA, We have been to NASA in Houston and I am sending this to you on day 20 from New Orleans!! What a blessing to do this with my sweetheart and Mom and Dad

 Happy Easter

Thank You Jesus

See ya in June at the FF for Christ




3/27/2007 from Terry Givens:



Every month I am amazed in reading the e-mails and the letters from all my friends.  The service you provide in keeping us all in contact with one another makes one feel like were there right beside each other.  Boy what a feeling that is. I cherish getting my newsletter it keeps me up to date on what is happening.  It was great to hear from Vicki and I too wish to hear from Dave Wheeler and Randy Moore.




Terrell L. Givens

Vice President

Givens Electric Inc.

PH. 925.443.3310

Fax 925.443.0127


3/22/2007 from traveling Greg Fernandez

Hey Rich


Thought I'd drop you a line on day 3 of our 60 day across America Tour. Mary and I are in our 31 foot Oakland Raider Party RV and my folks are traveling in their brand new 31 foot motor home. We are in Mesa Arizona, hoping that this downpour of rain stops as we have tickets for 2 preseason games on Friday the 23rd  and one game each on Saturday and Sunday. All A's games ( 3 ) are day games. What are the chances that Timmy Dillon, Joe Banchero and their lovely wives are attending the same 3 A's games we are. I believe they are flying in Friday morning. Mark Arganbright works for the A's down here in Tempe and we plan to have a crazy night out on the town on Saturday night after the ball game. We will try to hook up with the Banchero's and Dillons at the A's games. All is well and it has been great quality time with Mary and my parents.


God bless you all




3/20/2007 from Floyd Nabonne:


I just received the following letter:


Bonnie Aguiar passed away in July of 2006 at the age of 81. She had an unexpected and sudden cardiac arrest.

Bonnie worked as the fire chief secretary. She served with the City of San Leandro for 21 years, from 1967 and retired in 1988. She truly loved her job and was always ready to help the personnel. She moved to Shelton, Washington where she owned a storage facility. She went on many trips and cruised with her friends.

She was originally from Minnesota. During WWII, she worked in Washington D.C. for the Pentagon. Bonnie is survived by her daughter Faith Meca of Sea Ranch.


Ray Jannson


Connie and I kept in touch with Bonnie at Christmas time when we exchanged Christmas cards. She always expressed a desire to come back to California and the Bay Area. I remember her when I worked in fire prevention. She was a very responsible and efficient secretary. She had a great laugh and sense of humor. We had hoped to go visit her now that we are able to travel. Connie and I will miss her.




3/6/2007 from Tom Lueder:



Jackie and I are leaving Mar 10, returning Mar 19 on our 40th Anniversary trip to the Grenadine's. We're sailing on a 5-masted square-rigger that is a modern version of a ship my grandfather sailed around Cape Horn on called the Preussen. This was the largest sailing ship ever built. She went on the rocks at Dover, England on Nov 6, 1910 with grandpa on her. Go to www.starclippers.com  We're on the Royal Clipper. 227 passengers and 106 crew. I hope the pictures on the new digital camera come out.


Hope to see you soon.


Captain Huggie   aka Tom

2/27/2007 from Mick Roark:

Hi Rich


Can you please put the following on the calendar?


2007 annual retirement/reunion dinner

May 19, 2007 6 p.m.

Castro Valley Moose Lodge

20835 Rutledge Rd.

Castro Valley CA.


RSVP: ACFD Station 13 (510)-618-3473

                                    (510) 357-2645


2/27/2007 more from Floyd Nabonne:



This is an addition to the last email. I would also like to invite the off-duty fire fighters, new chiefs and union officers to also join us at Harry's. I'm sure we would like to meet them, and hear how the department is going.




2/24/2007 from Floyd Nabonne:

I am looking forward to this meeting of the  retirees for some good



One, because it will be the first to be held at  Harry's Hofbrau, 14900 E. 14th. St., San Leandro. (For some of the really old guys, this is at the site of the old lumber yard at the corner of Hesperian and E. 14th St.). They have some good choices for everyone's liking. It will start at noon on April 18th, but get there sooner to just talk until you are hungry if you like.


Two, because Connie and I are extending the invitation to not only the fire fighters, but also their wives or significant others to join us. This includes the widows of deceased retirees. Maybe some of the retirees could offer a ride to any of the widows that they may know.


Three, because it will be a luncheon, therefore some of the guys that have moved away will have a chance to get to this one and avoid the commute traffic. This has been the main reason a lot have expressed for not coming. Some of these guys I have worked with and would like to see again (How about it Bungarz?). I could name names of quite a few I would like to see again that have not come for a while or have never come to this event. There are a couple of captains I had worked for, and some of the chiefs I worked with in the office when I was in fire prevention. But you know who you are! :)


I don't know if anyone knows this, but Steve Mikinka was the last one to retire from the San Leandro Fire Department prior to Alameda County merger. I like to say it was George Bungarz who retired before him since Steve was management. Maybe some of the other merged fire departments could list who was their last one to retire prior to the merger.


Look forward to seeing all of you there.


Floyd and Connie.


2/21/2007 from Bill Peters:

A Note from Bill Peters


I'm living here in Newcastle, Ca. which is right off the I-80 freeway on the way to Reno.  

I am finishing up my year's tenure as Exalted Ruler of the Auburn Elks Lodge.  This position has taken me from Orlando, Florida to San Diego and to areas as remote as the little town of Quincy, Ca.   As of April 1st, I will now have the time to go hunting, fishing and RVing.  I still have had time and will continue to have time to carve birds and host an annual seminar on waterfowl carving.  My wife, Barbara and I agree that we would love to have any of you stop by for a visit if you happen to be in the area.  It would also be fun to plan a get together here on the property as we have done in the past.  I can be reached by telephone at 916-663-1700 or e-mail bbpeters@psyber.com .  I send my best wishes to all.


Bill Peters, Retired Engineer

San Leandro Fire Dept.



Bill & Barb Peters


2/3/2007 from Tom Neuerburg:

From: Palmer, Charles, ACFD
Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 9:13 PM
Subject: A New Baby Guild


Hello everyone,


I have some very important news to pass on to all of you out there in email land.  By now I’m sure you are all aware that our very own Benny (The Toe) Guild and his lovely wife Cara have been patiently awaiting the arrival of their little bundle of joy.  Well that time has finally come, yes folks.  Grace Helen Guild (Aka: The Baby Toe) arrived kicking and screaming on January 25, 2007 weighing in at a healthy 7 pounds 2 ounces and 19 inches long.  Cara and Grace are doing well.


Now that I have all the formalities out of the way I can get to the really important information.  When Ben called I without hesitation asked that all important question.  “WHAT ABOUT THE TOES?” Ben in all his glory stated yes Cap she has all 10 Toes.  Trying to get the real answer we all want to know.  I told Benny to put the Doctor on the phone.  Benny in all his new found Fatherly wisdom handed the doctor the phone and I asked that all important question,  “Doc, Are the Toe’s normal?”  The doctor seemed a little confused, having never been asked this question before, he stated again that the Grace is healthy and has she has all ten toes.  With that I asked the doctor to prepare himself and told him to have Ben remove his shoe and Yes folks his sock.  I warned the doctor this is not something for the weak and to prepared himself.  He seemed to think I was joking, but reluctantly he told Ben to take off his shoe and sock. Suddenly a large gasp of air was heard over the phone with a few other choice words that I cannot repeat, followed by a very loud cover that thing up.   The Doctor appeared to be a little dazed and now traumatized for the rest of his life finally understood why I was so insistent on the condition of Grace’s toes.  After a long pause, the Doctor stated as a matter of fact that Grace’s Toe’s were all normal and to make sure Ben never lets that thing out in Public again.



Charles Palmer, Captain

Alameda County Fire Department

Station 2





From: Moore, Eric, ACFD
Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2007 8:36 PM
Subject: Baby Quintana   

Station 3 Is proud to Introduce a New Addition!

Marco James Quintana

7lbs. 14 ozs.

21 inches

Born 02/01/2007


Mom, baby, and DAD are Doing Great!

1/30/2007 from Vicki Godkin:

Thank you, Rich. I always enjoy reading the Bresnan—you have, and continue to do, a great job on the web site.

Dave Wheeler retired 12/26 after almost 29 years in the fire service. Dave’s dedication and expertise to the USAR program was widely known and respected. Task Force 4 is held in high regard due in great part, to Dave Wheeler.  Dave’s current retirement project is building his home in Loomis, California. Oakland Battalion Chief Mark Hoffmann is now the CATF-4 Program Manager. Chief Hoffmann has been with TF-4 since its inception in 1990.

Hope to see you soon.


1/20/2007 from Tom Neuerburg:

 From: Hopken, Robert, ACFD
Sent: Monday, January 29, 2007 12:36 PM
Subject: Update: Denny Hopken


Hello everyone,


My Dad is recovering at home following a hip replacement surgery at Eden hospital last Tuesday.  The surgeon felt the surgery went well.  He may not be up for phone calls for a couple of days.  If you feel like dropping him a card or e-mail you can send it to me and I will make sure he gets it.  (He doesn’t have e-mail access at home)  Otherwise, his home address is 3549 Figueroa Dr., San Leandro, CA 94578.


Thanks and he says “hello” to the ACFD family


Hop Jr.

1/20/2007 from Tom Neuerburg:

From: Marciel, Katy, ACFD
Sent: Monday, January 29, 2007 9:50 AM
Subject: New Baby Girl ~ Anderson


There’s a new baby girl!

Please join in welcoming

Ava Jillian Anderson

Proud parents ~ Seth and Jerene Anderson

Born ~ January 26, 2007

Weighing ~ 8 pounds 3 ounces

Length ~ 20 ½ inches

“Everybody is doing great!”


1/26 2007 from Kay Dana:

Here is a link to a news article about: Pet oxygen masks join firefighters' tools


1/25/2007 from Greg Fernandez:

Ferg I will be at the Monday FF for Christ breakfast on Monday!!!!! I am going to invite on the E mail a lot of my ALCO buddies !!! I hoping this reaches Vinny so I can get a copy of the Lesson.


Retirement is great Ferg!!!  Mary and I just got back from Florida. We stayed with some friends for 2 weeks over the New Year. It was 80 degrees almost the entire time we were there!!! I went deep sea fishing for the first time in my life and had a great time and no sickness!!!! Rode a thing called a segeway through Sararsota on a tour and my buddy and I took in a Tampa Bay/ Seattle Seahawks game on New Years Eve!!!


Our next trip will be a long one like my 3 day walk. Mary and I in our Travel trailer and my parents in their new motorhome are going to go out across America for 60 days. Down to Phenoix for Spring Training Baseball and stops not limited to Laughlin, San Antonio, New Orleans, Florida  again!!, Key West, Orlando, Cape Canaveral, Myrtle Beach Savannah, Nashville and back maybe even through Vegas!!!! We will stay as long as we feel. The trip will average no more than 250 miles per day on the travel days!! No hurry. I feel blessed that we can do this with my parents and that they are healthy enough!!


See ya in February


1/21/2007 from Brett Boukather:

Ferg- Enclosed is a picture of ENG/PM/HFEO Chuck Towns with his favorite Christmas presest. Hope you can post it on the Bres.


Thanks, Brett


1/19/2007 from Kay Dana:

Here is a link to an article about fire training:



1/3/2007 From FERG:

I just heard that Dave Wheeler retired.  I hope we hear from him soon.

FERG <><

12/22/2006 from Kay Dana:

Merry Christmas! & Happy New Year!

 May God be with you and yours

 My warmest wishes to all

 Kay Alfred Dana


 Granddaughter Rachel (6), Grandson Kyle (10) & GPD

 Girlfriend/mate Beth of five years and her Beau


12/20/2006 from Tom Neuerburg:

From: Hayes, Ken, ACFD
Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2006 6:55 AM
Subject: Retirement


In a few short days I will have completed a very rewarding career. I just can’t believe how fast the time has flown by. It seems only last week that I was hooking up my first set of suspenders to my black canvas turnout pants and stepping onto the tailboard of the engine for the ride of my life. Yes we rode the tailboards rain or shine, kept our BA’s in a suitcase, carried a powered inhalator, used high pressure red lines for initial attack lines, and called 2 ½” hose, “large diameter”.

Many things about this profession have changed during the past thirty-three years but one thing has always remained constant, and that is the great group of brothers and sisters that I have had the honor to work with. I have seen you work when things were tough, at all hours of the day and night giving selflessly to your community. You have made me proud to be a part of this profession and this department.

Thank you to all of our Union leaders for giving us so much of your time and energy. During my meeting with BCN as they were explaining all of my retirement benefits, and the little tweaks that were unique to our department to me, several times they would stop and say “be sure to thank Brian McKenna for this and Brian McKenna for that. Well, we truly have a great retirement plan and to all of you that helped to get it to what it is today “Thank You”.

Thank You to all of the administrative staff for the important behind the scenes work that you do for us line guys every day.

Thank You to the Chiefs for creating such a great working environment and for keeping ALCO in the lead throughout our region. I have worked under five different administrations throughout my career and none of them were as enjoyable to work under as this one has been.

Thank you to the “best crew” I have ever worked with.

I will miss this job, but most of all I will miss all of you.


Ken Hayes

12/19/2006 from FERG:

I just got a call from Don Robarge.  He just had open heart surgery.  He says he is recovering fine but it has slowed down his golf game. 

Don’s phone is 510-887-4882

FERG <><

12/19/2006 from Jim Dorpinghaus:

December, 2006



It has been years since making a contribution in the form of writing for the Bresnan. My big spiel at that time was I felt the lime green color for fire equipment was safer than the color red in that it was more visible. I promise that won’t happen again. Red looks good, real good.

We received the most recent edition of the Bresnan a week or so ago and it was good to see pictures of a lot of the personnel. It comes as somewhat of a surprise the names of those retiring or about to retire. Some were relatively new on the department when I retired--but I keep forgetting it is going on 17 years since working my last shift. I can’t begin to fathom where those years have gone.

Congratulations to the new retirees; you have done your time, and it is now time to do those things that have been on the back burner--like travel, play golf, go fishing, or do that project you have been promising the little lady at home. I do not know Dick Kolda or Greg Fernandez, but I do recall doing an inspection at Vesper Hospital with Dick’s dad, Del, and being told Dick had been hired by the Eden Consolidated Fire Protection District. It simply doesn’t seem like that long ago, but time does march on.

And Congratulations to Chief Bill McCammon. Bill is living proof one person can make a difference, and that he has done. The last I heard, there were 17 stations in the newly formed department, but then there could be more by now. One thing has been difficult to comprehend is calling the station on Estudillo Sta. 9. I served there for several years, and to me it still remains Sta.1. It is good to see the changes made in recent years though as it makes for a stronger fire fighting force. Bill, you did one heck of a job.

It was good to see pictures of the guys. I’ve known Jim Lakes for many years as a former neighbor and I worked with his dad, Charley at Ashland, before going to the San Leandro

Department in 1964. Some of the other familiar faces—Tom Boggs, Vince Davis, Bill Woods, Ron Figuerra (sp), Dave Lord, Bill Peters, Denny Hopken and I believe Lisa Feldman and Jeff Abele. By the way, the firefighter fourth from the left in the picture with the old fire engine is Ron Thompson who was with San Leandro in the ‘50s.

We are well here. Doris had a case of the West Nile in September that hung on just long enough to cause us to return home from a trip we were on. She was feeling well enough when we left, but 3 days into the trip, she got a relapse--we were in Las Cruces, N.M. when it happened. En route home, we stayed in Lake Havasu and decided to return there for the holiday season this year to make up somewhat for the trip we had to cancel. We have reservations for a 2 room suite on the top floor with a private balcony overlooking the lake, so we will be ‘roughing it’ there. Too, this is our first time away since I had the heart attack four years ago, so we are long overdue.

It’s getting to the time to bring this to a close. I’m doing this on a recently acquired computer that does not want to fully cooperate. This is the 3rd writing to you--the first 2 evaporated as I neared the end. I heard a click and that was it. I’m sure this does not come as a real surprise. If you recall, you tried to teach me how to operate the one at Sta. 1 (9) and when it came time to view the program, the darned thing played “Yankee Doodle Dandy’—and that is a true story. I’m told the problem here is with my hard drive. I can attest to that--as my hard drive quit some time ago--but the soft ware still serves a functional purpose, so not all is lost.


We hope this finds you well and we do wish you and yours a very happy holiday season.



1215/2007 from Brett Boukather:

Hi Rich, this is Brett from ALCo Fire in Dublin, CA. I would like to touch base with you more often and give you some info to print in the Bresnan.  

Here is some info below for you-

-Is there anyway you can post more Berkeley Lab info on the Bres? I know it’s hard to find, but I will dig some stuff up for you. Enclosed are some PR pictures to use.


-Also enclosed are some pictures of Fernandez's and Kolda going on their "walk-about" on their last day.


Thanks, Brett


12/14/2006 from Kay Dana:

Daily Review:

New fire chief selected for Alameda County



The Alameda County Board of Supervisors this week named Livermore resident Sheldon Gilbert the county's new fire chief.

Gilbert, who has served as the county's deputy fire chief for eight years, will replace Bill McCammon, who retires at the end of the year after 13 years at the helm of the department.

"I've wanted to be a member of the fire department since I was a kid, and in being named fire chief I've reached the pinnacle of that dream," Gilbert said. "I look forward to serving Alameda County and its residents to the very best of my abilities."

Gilbert said his priorities as chief include making sure the county has enhanced emergency services, ensuring the county's Fire Department has the proper resources and training to perform to the best of its abilities, and upgrading the communication and integration between the county's various fire departments to quickly and effectively answer calls.

Gilbert, 41, began his firefighting career in 1986 with the Eden Consolidated Fire District, and became assistant fire chief in the Alameda County Fire Department in 1995. He was promoted to deputy fire chief in charge of the department's support services division in 1998.

Gilbert, a graduate of Castro Valley High School, received his certification from the National Fire Academy Executive Officer Program in 2006.

He is president-elect of the California Fire Chiefs Association.

12/14/2006 from Tom Neuerburg:

From: Bottorff, Edward ACFD
Sent: Wednesday, December 13, 2006 8:14 PM
Subject: Retirement


My Brothers and Sisters:


I think over the past thirty years I have said or written just about all that has needed to been said depending on the situation.


Some of you may have agreed, disagreed, or just been irritated by the noise. If there is one thing that you need to know or understand is that I have a deep passion and respect for this job. However bizarre or extreme the example may have been my ultimate goal was to strive to make this and be part of the Best Damm Fire Department.


In my mind I leave nothing on the table and have no regrets for the outcome of my career. I have made some tremendous friendships and have met and lost some dear fiends. I will miss way too many people to list, and cannot begin to name those that have impacted me over the years. The outpouring of kindness and generosity on my last day will always be cherished.


If I have any advice to leave you with on my last message is that you need to love your family, nurture your friendships,

and respect those you deliver this wonderful service to. This is a profession that is larger than any one person. Take care of yourself, make good choices, and be accountable for the results.


Farewell, Ed


12/13/2006 from Tom Neuerburg:

DATE:             December 12, 2006

FROM:            William J. McCammon, Fire Chief                      

SUBJECT:       Sheldon Gilbert’s Promotion to Fire Chief


It is truly an honor and pleasure to inform all of you that today the Board of Supervisors announced Sheldon Gilbert will be the new Fire Chief of the Alameda County Fire Department effective December 30, 2006.


We have all worked hard over the years to make the Alameda County Fire Department what it is today, and there is no one who has worked harder and is better qualified to the lead the organization into the future than Sheldon Gilbert.


Please join me in congratulating Sheldon on his well deserved promotion.

12/1/2006 from Greg Fernandez 

Hi Ferg

I never could follow directions, so for the third time of your request a short paragraph.

I am retired one month today and it has been great!!!!. I have spent more time with my wife Mary this month than in the last 6. I would love some input from my retirees on changes you went through and adjustments you had to make. Mary and I ( OK I am ) going through all drawers, boxes in the garage or anywhere at home and throwing away stuff I have kept way too long. Fred Dean told me at my party, “You need to simplify your life now so you can enjoy retirement!!!” I am. I had the talk with our 4 kids to say Bank of Dad is closed. Mary and I praying and putting together a new plan for our daily routine and we are housecleaning on our finances to make it more retirement friendly. I have more time for relationships with family and friends and I love it.



Enjoy each day


Love in Christ



11/28/2006 from FERG :

I got the spelling wrong on one of the photos in the Newsletter.  On page 4 standing with Ed Decou is “Deede Vultaggio”, and she is nurse/instructor in EMS

FERG <><

11/28/2006 from Bill Pryor:

Hi Rich,


When I got my new server and new email address I thought I had sent my new address out to everyone.  Well it turns out that I failed to notify one very important person.  You (and the Bresnan).  So here it is.


I am still living up here in Foresthill and getting ready for the snow season.  Hopefully it won't be too bad this year.  Diana's mom is not doing very well.  She is 93 and still living on her own. Diana has been spending a lot of time in Los Gatos with her so we have stayed close to home lately.


After I retired I bought a on/off road motorcycle and have done some touring on it.  Tom Lueder and I have done a few rides together mainly in California but we have been to Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Nevada on our bikes.  I recently bought a bigger bike so I can take even longer trips. Now that winter is here I will have to wait a while.


Again, sorry I missed you with the address change.


Bill Pryor


11/26/2006 from Greg Fernandez

Hi Rich and all my new fellow retires!!!!  I am into this retirement 22 days and I am as busy as ever!!!!. What a great experience I have had. Thanks for printing my goodbye letter this month!!! My daughter called several newspapers and TV stations about my walk home and boy was I surprised by all the positive response from the  Tri Valley Harold and Modesto Bee and Radio Station KKIQ,  after our great party on Halloween Day at Station 17. As I stated in my good bye letter a Limo picked me up in Modesto and we went to Dick’s house in Discovery Bay and then to our last day at work.

Dick Kolda walked with me the first day and after popping to bottles of champagne at 0845 on our first retire date November 1st at Station 17 in front of the app bay. We sprayed each other and the B shift Station 17 crew and went on our merry way, first stop was Peet’s coffee for a pre walk interview with Roman at the Tri Valley Harold.

Chip Anderson was our pit crew the first day as he found us a short cut through 2 farms at the dead end of Croak Road. WE left Tassajara Road and took Dublin Blvd all the way to Fallon Road, cut over to Croak Road which runs next to the freeway and into a pasture on 2 farms with lots of cows and some occasional bulls. We saw recently retired Ed Decou as we were hopping over the NO TRESSPASSING SIGN ON THE FIRST RANCH!!!. WE made it to the backside of Collyer Canyon and took a short water break. We proceeded down Airway to Kitty Hawk and met up with Chip and Chief John Walsh who promptly took us out for lunch at the Roadhouse Bar and Grill in Livermore-where we overate big time. Dick and I left there and continued our journey through Livermore to Vasco Road and roughly 6 hours and 15 miles later we were at the home of the lovely Whitney and Jeff Kramm who hydrated us all night, fed us ( delicious chicken!!, guacamole, rice Yummy!! , hot tubbed us and Whitney sent us off with a great breakfast in the morning.

Day 2 Dick hooked a ride with Captain Chuck Palmer and I continued past Vasco to Old Altamont Pass Road. The tri Valley story had hit already as I was getting high 5’s from people in cars and some well wishing bike riders who said Be sure and do a lot of fishing!!!!  That was cool. The Modesto Bee reporters actually met me on Old Altamont and walked with me for 30 minutes interviewing me and taking pictures. This story made the front page of the Modesto Bee on Friday morning the 3rd. I continued on Old Altamont to Grant Line Road where I had some of best manudo ( is that spelled right ? ) ever in the Mountainhouse Bar and Grill. I must tell you I was on my cell phone almost non stop all 3 days talking with family friends and most of all my ALCO brothers and sisters. I took Grant Line into Tracy and the Tracy Firefighters found out about this, I believe Jeff and Whitney Kramm are good friends with a Tracy FF who saw the Tri Valley article!!  They called me on my cell and wanted to meet me at the Tracy border and usher me into one of their stations for a hot meal, a shower ( boy did I need that !! ) and a place to sleep if needed. Dick Kolda was my support group on Day 2 and he met me on several locations to talk and rest etc. Dick drove to the Tracy Firehouse and I met him there. We stopped for a visit, drank lots of water and thanked them for the invite but told them we had plans to bunk out at Captain John McClintic’s house that night. John saw me about 5 miles from his house and stopped to see how I was doing. I said fine but my cell phone was dead ( GEE what a surprise!!!  Too much talking , I killed the battery by 2:30!! )  So he gave me his to use until I got to his house. John made Dick and I a fantastic Tri Tip/Chicken/ Caesar salad meal and we went out to a cool place in Tracy. Day 2 was around 25 miles.

Day 3 I left John’s house, traveled down Tracy Blvd south Linne Street near where the Ace Train station is. This took me all the way to the back part of Vernalis. Linne hooks around Ahern and Bird and then becomes part of old Highway 33 as it leaves Tracy going south. I found out that was near Jef Ramsey’s house. Day 3 was long, thank God I was listening to some great Christian Rock and Sports Talk Radio to pass the time. About 3 hours into this I hit my only wall as I anted to get a good start so no breaks for the first 3 hours and I just felt lousy, did not want to quit but just felt bad. I ate some power bars, continued to hydrate on the great camel back Jeff Kramm had loaned me and sat for 30 minutes. I felt better and decided I would sit down for 10 minutes every hour on the hour for the rest of my trip. I made it to Highway 132 going into Modesto around 2pm and had the nastiest linguica sandwich ever ( boy was it good ) I charged my cell phone in the restaurant and continued down Highway 132, I knew this would be the scariest part of the walk!! It was!! 7 miles of cars ripping around the blind curves( but really there were only 3 areas that I could not get into the dirt off the highway, but a traveling 65mph plus when you are on the road is totally different from being in a car. I mad it to my shortcut Gates Road off 132 around 5pm.

My buddy Dick met me there and we had some water and I rested. I still had 14 miles to go!!!. Dick left and some of our friends in Modesto called me, asked my location and brought me double shot mocha frappachino!!!  That was around 6:30 pm. The rest of the trip even though still 9 miles left was easy, just like life, keep it simple, ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER-THAT IS ALL YOU HAVE TO DO.!!! My family and some friends met me at Starbucks 1 mile from my house at 10pm. That’s when I finally rolled in!!!  I coffied up and we all walked the last mile together!!!


What have I learned?? Take life, retirement life, slow, enjoy it, take time to talk our brothers and sisters on this planet. There are still a lot of cool people in this world!!!!


You can do anything if you are determined!! Keep it simple in life One foot in front of the other!  My last day was 34 miles



Love g


11/16/2006 from Tom Neuerburg:


From: Marciel, Katy, ACFD
Sent: Wednesday, November 15, 2006 1:44 PM
Subject: New Baby Baldwin


Please join with me in congratulating Joe and Lucia Baldwin as they welcome their new baby girl

Alexandra “Lexi” Baldwin

Born November 10, 2006

Weighing 9 pounds, 2 ounces

Mom, Dad and baby are all doing well.

11/14/2006 from Tom Neuerburg:

Ray’s tearful goodbye letter

From: Moulton, Raymond, ACFD
Sent: Saturday, November 11, 2006 7:19 AM
Subject: Good-bye


I worked with you all.  I got no complaints.

Thank you,


Ray “South Dakota” Moulton


11/10/2006 from Tom Neuerburg:

From: Moore, Eric, ACFD
Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2006 9:28 PM
Subject: Baby Arrival


Congratulations are in order to the Davis family!!!  Ryan called and said that he is a proud father of a baby girl.  Kaylee Monique Davis was born at 5:41 pm on November 9, 2006.  Kaylee was six pounds eleven ounces and measures at 20 inches long.  Ryan said that everyone is doing fine.


Happily sent,

Eric Moore


I just got a link to an article about Greg Fernandez: http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=85224

Here is one with Greg and Dick Kolda: http://www.insidebayarea.com/trivalleyherald/localnews/ci_4629141

 11/5/2006 from Ton Neuerburg:

From: Kolda, Richard, ACFD
Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 2:16 PM
Subject: Thank You and Fare well!


Good day, all my ALCO family!                                                                                                             November 3, 2006


Thank you everyone for the great send off on my last shift, Halloween 2006. This event is permanently etched in my memory. I could not stop smiling (no banned substances were involved).  I am truly impressed by the gracious outpouring of friendship and joy and sadness because I am retiring.  It was difficult to be melancholic while surrounded by so much positive encouragement.  Those reflections were made during my walk home with career long friend, Greg. 


Thanks,   A Shift for a fantastic day. For putting so much time, money and effort to make it happen.    From the limo ride to last visitor.  Seeing some of the retired guys drop by was terrific.  Heck, my family even showed up.  That day was awesome.  I was on cloud nine.  I could not get rid of this grin which by the way, I am still wearing.

My life and my career is blessed. The people here who touched my life over the last thirty years (give or take .699 years of S/L conversion) have enriched my life.   My last shift has proven to me that I too have left a positive effect on my sisters and brothers of the ACFD community. It is refreshing to hear thoughtful words about leaving behind a legacy, a “hole” that will be hard to fill and that I will be missed.   The reverse is also true.  There are more legacies still here at ACFD.  There are “holes” in my life which are my career, friendships and achievements.  All of which I will remember…until “old-timers disease”  kicks in, of course.  I’ve already experienced several senior moments in the last few days just trying to get back off cloud nine!  I will miss you all, too. Some of you I have heard will miss my late night and early morning OT calls…But look at it this way…You won’t have “Dick the Devil” convincing you that you should absolutely take that OT against you own wishes.  Isn’t Telestaffing great?!


Many changes have occurred in all phases of this department since I started as one of the first “Eden guys” in the fall of ’77. There has been vast improvements to working conditions, equipment and procedures.  We have all contributed to make ACFD the best of the best.  We should all be as proud as I am for the efforts and sacrifices of chief officers, administrative support groups, ems, training, prevention,  through the suppression ranks, reserves, mechanics, communications our union…the list is extensive.   I thank all of you for making my career safe and sane (well, maybe not too crazy at any rate).


My suggestion to this and future generations of the ACFD family is just this:  KEEP THIS A FAMILY.  Honor, respect and trust your sisters and brothers on the fire lines and those who are behind the lines.  This is the recipe for my success.   Enjoy your work…but put 110% of yourself into your career.  Remember your beginnings as you mature, and develop and hopefully promote.  Embrace your challenges.  Try giving back more than you take.


Thanks again.  Kim and I hope to see you around from time to time.  Please keep in touch with us.  E-mail, phone or visit our Discovery Bay home   You’ll probably find me wading through the myriad of honey-do’s that Kim has already placed in front of me.  Yikes! I better get going or I’ll be late for….Oh, wait a minute!  That’s right!  I can’t be late for work…I’m unemployed.  Wink Wink!   Oh, Well.  Come by for a Rock Omelet.   

You have all been great.  See you around.                                          

Retired Captain/Paramdeic  “Rock” Kolda


PS:  If I should come back looking for employment perhaps I could be the designated Overtime Caller  * O.C. *  I think I have this telestaffing thing figured out.  Just pray they come up Version 3.0.

Most commonly asked OT questions:  Is there a drill that day? Am I on the Truck or Engine? Who am I working with?  (And my favorite):  Did I sign up?  (why the HELL do you think I called you?!)                               Love, Dick

11/1/2006 from Francis Chew:

From: Fernandez, Gregory ACFD
Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2006 1:15 AM
Subject: THANK YOU !!!!


I would like tell you all that I can say that today the last day of my firefighting career was the best day of my career!!!!  It all started with Dick and  I being driven to work in the LIMO !!!!!  Our A shift team Frank Wynn, Steve Gazdik and Francis Chew  and all those hard working folks putting together a great Feast and Party!!!  Thanks!! I know I was overwhelmed and my checks and my laugh lines around my soon to be 50 year old face were stuck in the happy position all day and into the late night. For some reason I am still on a high tonight as I write this from the rush I got from all of you who came and let me hug ya, ( oh maybe the 6 cups of coffee have something to do with it )

In my 30 years in this great family I call my FD brothers and sisters, I want you to know if I have had the privilege of having a conversation with you on any subject from hydraulics to tactics and strategy or to problem kids, relationships, whatever I will cherish these moments always!!!!! I was able to get wisdom from the older crew members over the years and tap into the energy of our new people as I became one of the old folks.

I’ve seen many changes in my career. I remember in 1977 we had the option to wear a SCBA or not and we had oxygen or compressed air. I always chose the O2 because it gave me a boost!!! ( I guess I could have been a human torch ) One of my first assignments as a new Rook was to put the call 911 decals on our engines and staff cars as we going to a  new emergency phone system!!!  Dick and I experienced a new consolidated department as Eden was formed in 1976. We saw the growing pains of blending the cultures. We were the first Eden hires. I saw the pains lessen as we hired more new people to start a new culture. I see this happening here too!!!

I love the different cultures we have now and think we can learn form each of our old departments represented as well as the 70 plus pure ALCO comrades.

I hope my happy go lucky and laughing persona was not ever mistaken as a guy who didn’t take this blessing of a job seriously. You have to understand where I came from.

I really didn’t expect any more out a career than my banquet busboy job at Francesco’s in Oakland. You know getting free dinners at work, few bucks in my pocket and a house to party in, but this ALCO FIRE has been all bonus, icing on the cake to a great life. I have pinched myself for 30 years saying, man am I really a Firefighter? My Dad told my cousin once 30 years ago (and he was justified in this), I worry about the boy, I have no clue of what he is going to do with his life.

I have said God did for me what I could not do for myself. I am blessed.

Man I was on duty during the Earthquake, the Oakland Fire and some monster fires over the years. I’ve told a lot of people STRUCTURE FIRES are our Super Bowls!!!

I get it that getting into medicals keeps our staffing, provides more bang for the tax buck as does any program we get into.

THIS JOB HAS BEEN FUN!!! I really enjoyed getting silly with all of you after hours during videos then DVD’s till dawn!!!! Outrageous deserts and belly laughs.

Thank you to all the great men and women I have worked with here over the past 30 years. I figured there are at least 25 of you that I had at Chabot or Las Positas College as students in First Responder, CPR or Fire Science that are now working here, NOW THAT IS COOL!!!!

Thank You to our great Unions over the years that have set me up financially for the rest of my life and helped Mary and I raise 4 kids to Adulthood!!!. I can’t say enough about the hard work and countless, sometimes thankless hours you all have worked to give us a better quality of life!!! A HUGE THANK YOU!!!!!!

I must tell you all about the most important thing to ever happen in my life and that was November 9th 1976. I accepted Christ as my savior and Lord at little old Halcyon Baptist Church in San Leandro. You may say so what’s that all about Greg? Don’t push your religion down my throat, not here not in this good bye letter!!! This is who I really am, a humble undeserving guy who still makes mistakes, maybe cusses when he shouldn’t does some inappropriate things—imperfect and God forgives me for being Greg through Christ pure and simple. For those of you who really know me you know my life has had some bumps—Divorce, bankruptcy, hard to handle kids, and other things that I have shared with some of you, but God has been my strength!!! Man sometimes I was hanging on by a thread but God has always pulled me through.

I was involved in the Peer Counseling, CISD and Grief Counseling for ALCO and I believe in the programs. I can’t tell you how many deep conversations I have had with my brothers and sisters over the years on some stuff that is going on in our lives. MY take--- Remember just because we put on the badge doesn’t mean we are not going to be affected by calls at work or family problems, money problems whatever. Please use the Employee Assistance Program offered free for all our people at any time you feel the walls closing in!!!  The number is 800-834-3773—The Claremont group. This is 100% confidential and it works!!! You get up to 10 sessions a year and you can get more if Claremont feels the need!!! Man during the out of control kid years I used my 10 your 10 and the brother or sister on another shifts 10!!!

I’ve been on some great and hilarious calls over the years!!!  The big fires like Oakland  hills, some rippers in CV-Camelot comes to mind and of course my favorites the funny ones-Steph and Al remember  me being propositioned by clerk at Not to Naughty!! I had a guy get electrocuted with entrance and exit wounds and a foul smell of burned skin and walk away from it!!!! I love talking to the people who may not be all on this planet and go with them in my Patient Assessment into their world and talk to the imaginary people in the room!!!

The rest of life!!!!  Well the first 3 days will be my walk home-First night to Krammy’s house with my bro Dickie, then second night to Tracy and my bud John McClintic and the third night home to MoTUCKY and my bride of 24 years. I appreciate all the days Mary had to be Mom and Dad as I went on Strike Teams-pulled 72’s. She knew how much fun I had with you all!!! One of my coolest thrills was my last strike to Ventura in September as I was finally able to hook with my Cousin Captain Doug Fernandez of Novato Fire on that fire. I was able to spend 3 days with him-something we had talked about for years and of course my crew had tons of fun!!!.

I am going to teach at Chabot/Las Positas (providing they let me) 1-2 days a week and come by and get some free coffee and food as I will be on a fixed income, play music with Rock, Rich and Francis!!!!! Fish with my ALCO buds Mark, Daniel Tim etc, run some marathons with my all girl team (me included) bike with Joe B and the gang, snowboard Raiders, A’s, Giants, 49ers,Sharks,Warriors games and of course travel—all God willing. It was very cool that I got to work with a bunch of my San Leandro High brothers!!!!! We played sports, and partied together in High School and to all of our teachers surprise made something of our lives!!! Miss Simms told me I’d end up in jail before I was 20-showed her huh!!!!! ( kidding ) To Nick Chimento, Eric Holmgren, Bud Trujillo, Ken Sparaco, Timmy Dillon, Mick Roark-guys can you believe this FD gig???? Stay healthy dudes and join me soon.

I feel this sense of urgency to give Ferg a hand on getting our Bresnan Distributor flowing with dates and pictures of special events. My dream is to have some of our young people putting together a paint ball game and after posting it on the Bresnan a group of 65 year old retirees challenge them!!! Please send me any events, parties or pictures you want to the Bresnan!!!  Attention Ferg!!

If I have offended or made anybody feel uncomfortable over the past 30 years, please accept my sincere apology. I love you all!!! If I could open up my chest you would see that all your names and faces are implanted on my heart. This letter could be ramblings of an old man (probably true). Please take what you like and leave the rest!!!

I pray for all you a long happy, content, and prosperous career and most of all life!!!



ALCO WOMEN and of course MEN TOO 



Love Always

Greg Fernandez


10/30/2006 from George Folla:

Sent: Monday, October 30, 2006 10:37 AM
Subject: Ed's farewell letter


Hi All,

Ed asked me to type out the following letter to you all. As most of you know, today is Ed’s last day. If he were to type this letter himself, we would all be retired before he finished. You are going to be missed Ed. Take care and we all wish you a long and healthy retirement.



               Hi to all,


      Well it is finally THAT TIME. This is the last day I will officially be a part of this department as an active member. It is with great pride and gratitude that I bid farewell to my brothers and sisters. I have always felt, and know all to well, how VERY special a firefighters life is! Unique and rewarding are two words that come to mind. Sometimes this job is magic and sometimes tragic, but it is simply the BEST job in the world. We get to experience the best in people when their lives are at their worst; them and us! I want to thank all of the great people I have had the good fortune to have known and worked with. It truly has been a wonderful career. The opportunities, unique experiences and memories I hold so dear to my heart.                                                                                                                                                              

       From a wide eyed rookie firefighter back in Sept of 1977 to promotion to Engineer, to becoming a member of USAR, deployment to NYC on Sept 11th, going to Champ Camp, school for Swift Water Rescue, Coastguard rigid hull boat operations with “Bigger Than Life” Jim LeMoine, and then becoming a Rescue boat operator on the “Big Jim”, WOW!  What a fantastic and rewarding career! To say I’ll miss the Fire Department and all of my brothers and sisters is a HUGE understatement!! You all will be in my thoughts often.

      I want to thank all the great people that work in Admin. You “ALL” keep the best F.D. in the greater bay area running smoothly. Your hard work is very much appreciated. Thank you also to the APCOM team members that keep all our equipment, fire engines and other vehicles running—Pete, Hector, and Casey. You Guys Rock!! To all in EMS and training, Thank You Too! Lastly, Thank You to all the BC’s/ assistant Chiefs, our fine Deputy Chiefs and to Chief McCammon for vision and superior leadership. I consider my career a blessed one. I had great crews always and have one now.

      In closing( yes I am almost done), remember each time you have contact with the public that you are an ambassador of good will for our profession and our Fire Dept. Treat each person like you would like your parents or family members to be treated.


Thank You for the memories

Fraternally and Respectively,

Eng. E. Decou Sta #11

10/19/2006 from Francis Chew:

Hi Everyone,


This is a reminder to please plan to attend the party for Greg Fernandez & Dick Kolda on their last shift on Halloween, Oct. 31st, at Station 17.  Festivities start around 11:00.  In reality the party started a long time ago.  There will be an abundance of food, music, and entertainment so plan to stay awhile.


See you there,

Francis, Frank, & Steve

10/17/2006 from Dave Tibbets


How I got to hold a famous flag:

I was recently in New York City with some friends of mine from High School who also happen to be retired firefighters.  From Fremont Fire Gary Felix, and from Hayward Fire Roger Fernandes.  Retired Fire Chief Dan Lydon from Fremont is a personal friend of ours (everyone probably knows Dan) and he has relatives in New York.  Dan's cousin, Brian Anderson, is the commissioner of records and acquisitions for NYC.  So Danny called and asked his cousin to roll out the red carpet for us, which he most graciously did.   When we visited Brian's office downtown the commissioner brought out an enormous, tri-folded American flag and related the following story to us:   This flag flew over the World Trade Center on 9/11/01 and was recovered a few months after the attack by city workers whose job it is to sift through rubble and recover any savable items of value and for archiving by the City.  The flag was a bit tattered and frayed, and smelled of smoke and dust, but it had survived the worst attack in this country's history on American soil!  When NASA asked New York City to provide a relic from the World Trade Center attack to send into space and visit the International space station in 2005, the commissioner, without hesitation, had this flag sealed and packaged and presented to the astronauts for the round trip journey into space, the space station, and back again to the archives in NYC where, on October 5, 2006 I had the honor of holding the same flag and have my picture taken with it.  Please see the attachment.



I spoke to one of your old friends and a good friend of mine from the old Castro Valley Fire District:  Walter Bernardini.  Walt is resting at home now after a bout of bone marrow extraction at U.C. Medical Center in San Francisco.  Walt was at the med center for about a month going through a difficult procedure in preparation for stem cell implantation to fight the cancer he suffers from, and will return to San Francisco on the 26th of October for another three weeks of treatment. Anyone who remembers Walt will know he is a scrapper and will not give up easily.  Please remember Walter in your thoughts and prayers.  He sounded good and we had a nice visit over the phone.  His wife, Cheryl will call me with visitation information so anyone wishing to visit him can contact me after October 26 for a phone number and room number. 


That's about it.  Keep doing a good job with the newsletter.  Fraternally yours,  Dave Tibbets

10/11/2006 from Floyd Nabonne:


Just want to let you know that Connie's mom, Regina Hall who has lived with us for the past 4 years past away on Monday, Oct. 9th. Services will be Friday Oct. 13, 2006, at the Church of the Transfiguration 4000 E. Castro Valley Blvd. The visitation will be at 12:00 and the mass service at 1:00.

Please keep Connie and her mom in your prayers and one day while you are performing just sing a nice song in memory of mom for me. 




10/9/2006 from Tom Neuerburg:

From: Gilbert, Sheldon, ACFD
Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 1:46 PM
Subject: Fire Chief of the Year


On Wednesday, October 4th, Chief McCammon was awarded the prestigious “Fire Chief of the Year Award” at the California Fire Chiefs Association (CFCA) Annual Conference.  A Fire Chief nominated Chief McCammon for this award and the CFCA Executive Board voted on his nomination. 


The award is given to the Fire Chief who has demonstrated the highest level of leadership and innovation resulting in contributions that have significantly enhanced the California Fire Service.  This award is held by only a few Fire Chiefs and places Chief McCammon among the elite Fire Chiefs who have served in California


Please join me in congratulating Chief McCammon on this significant accomplishment.


Sheldon D. Gilbert

Deputy Fire Chief

Alameda County Fire Department

 10/4/2006 from Tom Neuerburg:

From: Frago, Eric , ACFD
Sent: Tuesday, October 03, 2006 9:54 AM
Subject: Burn Foundation Golf Tournament


Hello to all,


Sorry this letter did not come out sooner, but I would like to thank all that participated in the Golf Tournament this year. Whether you helped out, played, donated or had your hands involved in another way, it was all appreciated. Because of the support from the guys in the department and outside sponsors we were able to raise a total of $13,500. Again thank you to all and I hope to see you out there next year.


Sincerely,  The Golf Staff

Eric Frago, Ryan Davis, Brian Centoni, Brian Ferreira and Kathie Schmiechen

10/4/2006 from Jennifer Key:

Hello Rich,


This is Jennifer Key, Vern Brooks daughter.  Hope you are doing well.  Just a quick note to let you know that I would like to be added to your mailing list for the Bresnan Distributor, and to let you know that everyone is doing a great job.  My family and I enjoy reading about retired personnel and current events.  I have been in school for the past year studying Fire Science at Chabot, and I am having a blast.  I'm seeing many familiar faces from ALCO / Eden Consolidated, and can hardly believe how many years have past since my father’s retirement.  Seems like all the people I have known are getting ready to retire.  I feel honored to be receiving a lot of my current training from those who worked with my father over the years.  It will be another year or so before I will be ready for the fire department, but in the meantime I am working on my degree.  I know my dad is interested in finding out what is new with some of the guys from Eden Consolidated.  With ALCO being so big, it's amazing that we can keep track of anyone these days.  I am thinking of putting together an Eden Consolidated photo album.  If you know anyone who may be interested in loaning me some photos with captions, it would be greatly appreciated.  They will be scanned and returned in the same condition. Just let me know if you think anyone may be interested?  I will also be getting a donation in the mail soon for the Bresnan.  It is a real pleasure to know that there are people who help keep our families in touch.  Both my parents are doing well.  They are busy with their Model A business and are more busy than ever.  They say retirement slows you down, but it seems that everyone is speeding up.  Let me know if there is anything I can do to volunteer my time for events or projects, as I appreciate all that ALCO has given my family over the years.


Kind Regards,

Jennifer Key

10/1/2006 from Vince Davis


Very nice issue!. There is something about Doug Howlett that deserves recognition. He was in the D-Day invasion dropping in with the 82nd Airborne (All American). He made all of the 82nd's jumps ( I believe it was 4) in World War II. His wife Tilly had a ring made for him in later years that had the 82nd logo with a diamond for each combat jump. He was a real American hero, however never really talked about it.


Here are some e-mails about Doug Howlett:



Doug Howlett, born 6/21/1923, entered fire service 3/1/1948, retired 10/2/1977, died Tuesday September 12 from heart attack.  Doug was at home when it happened.  Doug was dealing with congestive heart failure and emphysema, but was doing well.  He was planning to go to the casino that day and have a good time.

I have many good memories of Doug.  He was a good man.  I can still picture him working with Joe Pistante at Sta#3 on Marina, working the crossword puzzle.  Doug's daughter still loves horses.

There will be a get together on Saturday September 23 at his daughters place:

2016 Ludwig Ave.
Santa Rosa, CA 95407-6415



I will give you more details if I get any.  Doug's daughter's name is Kris and I will give you her e-mail if you contact me.


FERG <><



So sorry to hear this.  I always liked Doug.  He was a nice man.






Hi Rich,


I was saddened to hear of Doug's passing.  Our thoughts and prayers are with

his entire family.  I've taken care of having the ACFD informed.


I hope all is well with you and yours.


Sincerely & fraternally,






Amen! he was always a pleasure to be around. He's the only guy I ever saw do a crossword puzzle with a pen. He was definitely a living example of what Tom Brokaw described as the “Greatest Generation"





Hi Rich,  Robertson here and I just found out about Howlett.  I worked with Doug when I first got hired in San Leandro and to this day had never met a nicer guy.  He was always willing to help with anything and I never heard a bad word about him from anyone.  The last time that I saw him was at a Breakfast a few years ago and had heard that he went to live with his daughter, but never had a chance to make contact with him again.  Sorry for that. I would appreciate his daughters E Mail address.  I’ve been out of business on this computer for a week or so – Had trouble with my carrier, but am back in business again – at least somewhat as I’m still a novice on this thing and struggling again with a new format.  I know that you are a busy person, so get back to me when you get a chance and Thanks ...Bill Robertson


Rich.. Would give anything in the world to go to the get-together, but my travel is still limited due to my wife’s condition.  I will send my condolences to his daughter and give her some information about her Dad.  I am the last of the original crew that was in the old City Hall Station on the “B” Shift that Doug and I were with back in 1949.  Was sorry that  I couldn’t have at least had one last meeting with him and should have at least tried to make contact with his location,  I’m sorry for that.  Thank you for getting his daughters E Mail address to me, I appreciate it. By the way – that crew consisted of Louis Dutra, Lieut. , Charlie Martin, Jack Woods, Doug Howlett, Al Sukalo and myself.. Was a long time ago..with many fond memories.  They were the same ones I was with when I was recalled back into the Navy and had to go to Korea.  Came back a year later and back with them again.  Emil Macdonald was hired in my place at that time and we had to fight to keep him on after I got back.  Enough gab, again thanks for all your help and assistance.  The Fire Departments county-wide all owe you a deep debt of gratitude for all you have done with the Bresnan Distributor.  Take care - Robertson


9/14/2006from Tom Neuerburg

From: Walsh, John, ACFD
Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2006 4:45 PM
Subject: Return of Capt. Robinson


Capt. Robinson called today and advised me that his recovery from surgery has been going very well and that he will be back to full duty on September 22nd.  He is anxious to get back to work and appreciates the support he has received.  We look forward to getting him back.


9/2/2006 from Tom Neuerburg

From: Farrelle, Stan ACFD
Sent: Saturday, September 02, 2006 11:20 AM
Subject: Retirement--Stan Farrelle


                      Hello Brothers and Sisters:  It’s time to pull the pin. The past 29 plus years have screamed by. It has been an honor to have been working for Alameda County and the true professionals who make our fire department one of the best in the state.

41 years ago at the age of 17 I joined the Alameda County OES Fire/Rescue volunteers never thinking this would be a career path. In 1977 I was hired by Castro Valley and have never looked back.

I will be moving in the next few weeks from Pleasanton to a newly built home outside of Placerville. I plan to be involved with the fire service as a fire commissioner in a local fire district and also be involved in some grant writing. Also I plan to be a reserve deputy sheriff again.

To all the new captains being promoted in 2006 remember to keep your sense of humor. Respect your crews and listen to their idea’s. Keep the lines of communication open. Make sure your crews are informed on what’s going on.

It’s tough to leave but it’s time. Looking at 60 and on an engine is not a good combination.

So it’s Farewell !!!!!!!!!—September 4, 2006 last day.




 9/2/2006 from Ralph Johnson:

Old retired guy Ralph Johnson was a member of the team that won the SIRS State tournament held in Livermore at Poppy Ridge in August. Even a blind dog finds a hydrant now and then!!!!!

8/11/2006 from Tom Neuerburg:

From: Welch, T, ACFD
Sent: Friday, August 11, 2006 10:46 AM
Subject: Dan Robison Update


I received a call from a call from Steve Young with an update on Dan. It seems that all went well with the operation and he is recovering well. They are keeping him under observation at the hospital until Monday when he is expected to be released. From what was explained to me via Steve, the Doctor placed an internal drain from his head to his abdomen. He apparently had equivalent to 4 gallons of fluid in his skull when the norm is approximately 1 gallon. He is not taking calls at the hospital, but will be taking calls when he returns home. So continue to keep Dan and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

 Omnis Cedo Domus

TJ Welch
Battalion Chief
Alameda County Fire Department

8/9/2006 from Tom Neuerburg:

From: O'Hara, Daniel, ACFD
Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2006 2:50 PM
Subject: Dan Robinson

Dan has been diagnosed with fluid on the brain and will be under going an operation to put a shunt in his head to allow the fluid to drain.  He has been experiencing sever headaches and the fluid seems to be the cause.  They plan to do the operation on Thursday and he'll be in the hospital for about 2-3 days and then off work for about 6 weeks.  Dan has requested no phone calls and no visitors at this time.  He'll let us know when he's feeling better.

Daniel T. O'Hara

8/7/2006 from Tom Neuerburg:

From: Hopken, Robert, ACFD
Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 5:21 PM
Subject: Baby Rardin


Great News! 

David called this morning to announce their new arrival.

Baby girl “Ava” was delivered this morning @ 0930 hours. 

She is 18 ½” long, weighs 7lb. 10oz. and has lots of dark hair! 

Erica, Ava, and family are all doing well!