Ventura County Firefighter Ryan Osler, 38 of Moorpark, lost his life in a traffic accident while he was on his way to fight a fire near Lompoc, California early this morning, September 21, 2016. Ryan had been called to help with a fire in another county away from home.
Ryan was a passenger in a “water tanker” truck which was on its way to put out “hot spots” at the fire. While I never got a chance to meet Ryan, I know many other of his fellow firefighter brothers at Ventura County Fire. One thing about firemen they all have the same traits. Like all people, each one of them has different likes and dislikes and are different in that regard. However, each and every one of them also display similarities which are unique to firemen. They exhibit unique bravery in time of fear, an eagerness to get the job done, calmness during an emergency, and they know their jobs, and do them very well.
From fighting fires to answering calls for medical help, they all put on their uniform, report for duty, and never know what type of day or evening they are going to have. They spend time together at the fire station with their “other family.” Their fellow firefighters. They will spend at least two days away from their own families, living at the fire station, sleeping, eating, working out, washing fire trucks, and mostly responding to 911 calls for help. They have no guarantee that they will be coming home to their loved ones. Not every call that comes in is the same. One reoccurring theme that is present with each and every firefighter I have ever met is this: They continually put their own lives at risk to help others. During a fire, when your mind screams at you to run away from the fire, that’s when they go to work. Why? Because that’s what they have been trained to do. To them, it is all about saving others. You mention the word hero to a firefighter and they blush. They will be the first to tell you that they are not heros, but rather, just somebody who likes helping people, and trying to save lives. To them, that matters more than being called a hero. Firefighters are a very close-knit type of family and it shows. Today, when Ryan lost his life, his fellow firefighters parked their firetrucks on freeway overpasses from Santa Barbara to Ventura, California. They all saluted Ryan as the hearse carrying his body quietly passed by underneath them on the freeway. They didn’t all have to know Ryan personally or even have worked with the man. All they know is that “one of their brothers” had lost his life, and would be coming home for the last time. No longer would he be required to respond to the fire alarm call for help. His job is now done. The last time I saw a tribute this touching was when the hearse carrying the body of former President Ronald Reagan was on his way to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley to be honored and buried there. Once before,firefighters had lined up on those overpasses to pay respect for their fallen leader. Ryan Osler was a married father of two children. He was a son, father, brother and husband. Thank you Ryan for being a firemen. Thank you for your service. You could have chosen any other profession but like your father before you, you chose this one. You helped countless number of citizens. Now it’s your time to rest big guy. Rest in peace. Your brother firefighters have it from here.