It’s finally over and among those pleased by the news is South Pasadena Firefighter and Paramedic Justin Miller, who served on the frontline of the highly destructive Holy Fire this summer.
Miller was assigned to a “Hot Shot” crew during the massive blaze the burned more than 23,000 acres and 18 structures from August 6 to late last week in Orange and Riverside Counties. Hundreds of residents in Corona and Lake Elsinore were placed under evacuation notices as the blaze spread. He was part of an elite team of firefighters, among the most highly trained in the country prepared to fight most serious fires, fire officials say.
Forrest Gordon Clark, 51, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of two counts of arson, one count of felony threat to terrorize and one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest, police say.
Miller was assigned as a fire line paramedic and responsible for providing advanced life support and emergency medicine to firefighters working the fire. He was responsible for providing emergency medical care to firefighters injured during the fire. Miller spent five days on the fire line, carrying a 60-pound pack that included medical equipment needed to treat injured firefighters. Inside his pack was IV fluid/catheters, an EKG monitor, tourniquets and splints.
South Pasadena Fire Department Chief Paul Riddle said the crew in which Miller was assigned suffered only minor injuries and the local firefighter/paramedic safely returned to regular duty.
An important task, Miller was familiar with all the radio frequencies being used during the incident, and was required to quickly communicate with support staff outside the fire line should and an injured firefighter need to be airlifted out of the forest.
Riddle said the South Pasadena Fire Department routinely participates in the state’s Master Mutual Aid Agreement (MMAA) when facing disasters.