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Archived News Release from 2003

For Immediate Release

Memorial Scheduled for San Mateo County in Honor of Fallen Public Safety Members

Redwood City, CA - May 29, 2003 - Local public safety agencies in San Mateo County will be taking part in the second annual San Mateo County Public Safety Memorial Service. This special commemoration is in honor of fallen public safety professionals and will be held on Sunday, June 1st, 2003 10:00 am at Notre Dame de Namur University, 1500 Ralston Avenue in Belmont. The service will be non-denominational.

This is the second formal tribute of its kind in San Mateo County, and is being organized again by Redwood City Firefighter Greg Da Cunha, who was eager to continue the tradition after the success of the first service last year on September 8th. Mr. Da Cunha's personal interest in spearheading the effort stems from the loss of his friend and co-worker, Firefighter Matt Smith, with whom he went through the San Mateo County Fire Academy in 1996. They were on the same shift at Redwood City Fire Department on February 5, 2001 when Firefighter Smith died in the line of duty.

When Firefighter Da Cunha introduced the idea of a memorial service, he started with agencies in the Southern part of the county. "Last year's service was well-attended and based on the positive feedback, the service was expanded to include all public safety agencies in San Mateo County." Firefighter Da Cunha added, "We're looking forward to giving recognition to those who have passed, seeing old friends, and honoring those who have served the public."

Local public safety agencies including police, fire, American Medical Response (AMR), California Highway Patrol (CHP), San Mateo County's California Department of Forestry, the County Sheriff's Department and other agencies from San Mateo County will all have representatives present to read the names of their fallen members and retirees who have passed away. San Mateo County Chaplains Jacqueline Clark and Mike Ryan will be conducting the ceremony. Ceremonial bell and bagpipes will be part of the service. All are invited to join in the commemoration and honoring of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Informal reception immediately following the service.

The Redwood City Fire Department is online with its website located at Visit Redwood City's website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, City government, and local business.

Contact: Greg Da Cunha
Redwood City Fire Department

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