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Plaque honors CFD firefighters

by Garrett Fuller | January 4, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
Democrat photo/Garrett Fuller — A plaque containing the names of previous and current California Fire Department firefighters is seen Friday (Dec. 30, 2022,) in the California fire station with photos of the department over the years. Fire Chief Brad Friedmeyer is still finishing up the project, awaiting a new plate for additional names.


A plaque will recognize 100 years of firefighting in California.

The new plaque, to be hung in the California Fire Department fire station, lists more than 102 volunteer and paid firefighters dating back to 1918. California Fire Chief Brad Friedmeyer said he started working on the project in July or August after seeing pictures of previous firefighters who served.

"Allen Smith (the former fire chief) was telling me about some of the pictures he's got, and that's when I was like, 'Oh, let's start a plaque with all the people that have served on the fire department and stuff,'" Friedmeyer said.

Friedmeyer used fire department records to gather the names of previous firefighters. He said he also enlisted the help of Smith and former firefighter Jack Bowlin to fill in additional information, such as the years people served.

Social media also aided Friedmeyer with the project. After posting pictures of the plaque on the California Fire Department Facebook page, many previous firefighters and community members chimed in with more information.

Firefighters listed on the plaque include:

• Fire Chiefs: Chief Charles Herforth (1918-53), Chief Clarence Busch (1953-84), Chief Allen Smith (1983-2021) and Chief Brad Friedmeyer (1989-present).

• Firefighters: Albert Andres (1918-53), Brian Ash (1991-94), Lanny Ash (1990-94), Alvin Baker (1953-78), Brian Baker (1991-95), Charlie Baker (1943-78), Herbert Baker (1953-78), John F. Baker (1918-53), Hannah Baumgartner (2018-19), Bernie Bestgen (1978-81), Ed Bestgen (1950-87), John Bestgen (2005-12), Jack Bowlin (1953-78), CJ Blakely (2008-21), Miguel Blair (2015-?), Kurt Bleich (2009-21), Cindy Borts (1992-2011), Kevin Carpenter (1995-96), Harold Cashion (2001-06), Alan Chambers (1984-89), Dustin Cooper (2014-15), Mark Cram (1997-?), Jim Deeken (1989-93), Mark Dugger (1980-85), Shawn Dumsday (1993-94), Josh Ecton (2020-22), Johnnie Elliott (1983-93), Brandon Embry (2014-?), Dale Embry (2002-19), Tyler Embry (2012-?), Scott Emmerich (2008-13), Michael Ferguson (1996-2009), Travis Fisher (1996-2001), Bob Fletcher (1963-82), Jay Fortner (2002-?), Earl Friedmeyer (1981-86), Rodney Fulks (1989-96), Robert Gadd (2019-?), David Garnett (1978-93), Harvey Gates (1978-93), Andrew Geiser (2009-16), Steven Gentry (2022-?), Kevin Gillilan (1993-99), John Green (2006-08), Frank Greijack (1978-97), Jay Gump (1990-2016), David Haldiman (1984-89), Nate Haldiman (2007-08), Steve Hammerly (1991-93), Eddie Hert (1960-93), Russell Hill (1990-93), Shawn Inglish (2012-21), Ben Inman (1945-53), Darren Kay (1998-2010), Justin Kennedy (2000-03), Gary Kiesling (1991-95), Curtis Kirchner (1977-87), Dale Kirchner (1982-87), Cody Kunze (2009-15), Wayne Kunze (1984-89), Bill Lahman (1978-98), Johny Lehman (1948-83), Kent Leithauser (1987-92), John Lucas (2014-22), John Manley (2016-19), Charles Matzes (2016-20), Vic Maurer (2005-15), Jonathan McCarty (2016-18), Bum McDaniel (1953-78), Isaac McDaniel (2022-?), Earl Medlin (1986-92), Shawn Merrill (2014-15), Lewis Mills (1947-54), Byron Moseley (2018-19), Brian Nehl (2003-08), Denise Nehl (2003-08), Gary Oliver (1991-?), Duane Pace (1992-2002), Robert Pace (1979-2015), Scott Pace (1994-2002), Alison Peters (2018-19), Danny Porter (1992-98), Jason Presley (2018-22), Marty Ramsdell (1989-?), Ellise Rippee (2018-19), Steven Risinger (2020-?), Matt Reed (2006-08), Wade Reed (2006-15), Jesse Rogers (2016-21), Johnny Rohrbach (1965-80), Amel Rombach (1947-82), Bill Roll (1993-?), Sareena Roll (2022-?), Kacee Salzman (2017-22), Kenneth Schaeffer (1992-96), David Schubert (1990-2006), Madalynn Sedgwick (2020-22), Todd Selck (1999-2001), Brad Steudle (2004-15), Charley Stock (1960-85), Matt Taylor (1994-?), John Thacker (1993-2012), Nicholas Van Dam (2021-?), Jay Vandieren (1989-98), Cody Volkart (2011-14), Whitney Watring (2018-19), David Wilde (1960-70), Kyle Wirts (1995-2010), Bryan Wolford (1999-2017), Roy Wood (1983-2007), Kevin Woodson (1990-95) and Andy Zey (1918-53).

— — —

Updated Jan. 26, 2023, to include the name of three additional CFD firefighters: Alan Chambers, David Haldiman and Wayne Kunze.


Print Headline: Plaque honors CFD firefighters

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