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California Fire Foundation News Release

The names of 30 California firefighters who have died in the line of duty the past five years were recently honored at ceremonies held at the California Firefighters Memorial in Sacramento. The memorial, located in historic Capitol Park, carries the names of more than 1,200 firefighters who have died in service since California became a state in 1850.

Those recently honored included 18 firefighters who died from traumatic injuries or job-related illnesses in 2011, as well as 12 firefighters from earlier years that were brought to the California Fire Foundation’s attention.

Among the names added to the Memorial were San Francisco Lt. Vincent Perez and San Francisco firefighter Anthony Valerio. Both men died battling a June 2, 2011, structure fire in San Francisco’s first multiple line-of-duty death in 60 years. The ceremony also included a tribute by Vallejo firefighter Brett Smith, whose friend and colleague—Alameda City firefighter Scott Carnevale—died earlier this year of job-related cancer.

Unveiled in April 2002, the California Firefighters Memorial features two statues and a Memorial Wall. Most of the more than $2 million raised to build and maintain the Memorial came directly from donations from firefighters through the purchase of firefighter license plates and a state tax check-off.