Old Mail #6
8/7/2006-8/12/2007 To go to Old Mail #5 Click Here
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
Oh Boy! Oh Boy!
Please join in welcoming
The West Twins!
Proud parents: Randall & Brooklyn
Weighing: 4 pounds 11 ounces & 8 pounds 1 ounce
“Mom and babies are doing well”
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
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
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
A couple of photo's from a recent trip to
Hope life is treating everyone well!
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
Frank and Cindy Gattoni
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
Don & Lynn Staysa
I will put the article in the next issue of the Bresnan…FERG <><
From: Welch, T, ACFD
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
He is at Kaiser Hayward for the next few days and open to visitors, but
please call first.
Sent by electronic leash
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
Armigh Carrizalez 4C
P.S. Thank you Training for the use of the Flat bed Truck. That is all!
Could you please post the following message for me? Thanks so much. Frank
Captain Rachel Hall’s last day on duty is
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.
I was born to do nothing!!!!
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.
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
Darryl and Sue Karg
Ed Benotti and his son Danny
Fergy and grandson Kyle
Jim and Doris Dorpinghaus
Dear FFFC members,
I would like to take a moment to thank you for all of
your support and prayers while I was in
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
Hey Rich Just thought I'd drop you a line from the Riverwalk
Thank You Jesus
See ya in June at the FF for Christ
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
Givens Electric Inc.
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
God bless you all
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
She was originally from
Connie and I kept in touch with Bonnie at Christmas time
when we exchanged Christmas cards. She always expressed a desire to come back
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
Hope to see you soon.
Captain Huggie aka Tom
Can you please put the following on the calendar?
2007 annual retirement/reunion dinner
RSVP: ACFD Station 13 (510)-618-3473
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.
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.
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
Look forward to seeing all of you there.
Floyd and Connie.
A Note from Bill Peters
I'm living here in
I am finishing up my year's tenure as Exalted Ruler of the
Auburn Elks Lodge. This position has taken me from
Bill Peters, Retired Engineer
Bill & Barb Peters
From: Palmer, Charles, ACFD
Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 9:13 PM
Subject: A New Baby Guild
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
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.
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
Hope to see you soon.
From: Hopken, Robert, ACFD
Sent: Monday, January 29, 2007 12:36 PM
Subject: Update: Denny Hopken
My Dad is
recovering at home following a hip replacement surgery at
Thanks and he says “hello” to the ACFD family
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
Proud parents ~ Seth and Jerene Anderson
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
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
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
See ya in February
Ferg- Enclosed is a picture of ENG/PM/HFEO Chuck Towns with his favorite Christmas presest. Hope you can post it on the Bres.
Here is a link to an article about fire training:
I just heard that Dave Wheeler retired. I hope we hear from him soon.
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
From: Hayes, Ken, ACFD
Sent: Tuesday, December 19, 2006 6:55 AM
To: ALL ACFD
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.
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
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
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
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
We are well here.
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
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.
New fire chief selected for
By Chris Metinko, MEDIANEWS STAFF
The Alameda County Board of Supervisors this week named
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
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
He is president-elect of the California Fire Chiefs
From: Bottorff, Edward ACFD
Sent: Wednesday, December 13, 2006 8:14 PM
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.
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.
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.
MY Mantra will be MAKE YOUR LIFE SIMPLE
Enjoy each day
Love in Christ
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
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
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
Again, sorry I missed you with the address change.
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
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.
Day 2 Dick hooked a ride with Captain Chuck Palmer and I
continued past Vasco to
Day 3 I left John’s house, traveled down
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
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
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
Weighing 9 pounds, 2 ounces
Mom, Dad and baby are all doing well.
Ray’s tearful goodbye letter
From: Moulton, Raymond, ACFD
Sent: Saturday, November 11, 2006 7:19 AM
I worked with you all. I got no complaints.
From: Moore, Eric, ACFD
Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2006 9:28 PM
Subject: Baby Arrival
Congratulations are in order
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
From: Kolda, Richard, ACFD
Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 2:16 PM
Subject: Thank You and Fare well!
Good day, all my ALCO
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 “
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!!!
BEST THING TO HAPPEN IN THE FIRE SERVICE!!!
ALCO WOMEN and of course MEN TOO
A SUPER THANK YOU TO ERIC AND STEPHANIE WHO TOOK 4 CALLS FOR US TODAY SO WE COULD VISIT WITHH YOU ALL-YOU 2 ARE THE BEST!!!!!!
Subject: Ed's farewell letter
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
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,
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 . 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
How I got to hold a famous flag:
I was recently in
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
That's about it. Keep doing a good job with the newsletter. Fraternally yours, Dave Tibbets
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
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.
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
Please join me in congratulating Chief McCammon on this significant accomplishment.
Sheldon D. Gilbert
Deputy Fire Chief
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
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.
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
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
There will be a get together on Saturday September 23 at his daughters place:
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.
So sorry to hear this. I always liked Doug. He was a nice man.
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
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
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.
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
41 years ago at the age of 17 I joined the
I will be moving in the next few weeks from
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 !!!!!!!!!—
Old retired guy
Ralph Johnson was a member of the team that won the
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
Alameda County Fire Department
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
From: Hopken, Robert, ACFD
Sent: Tuesday, July 25, 2006 5:21 PM
Subject: Baby Rardin
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!