Ben Carlson Paddle Out Memorial – Newport Beach, CA

This was an amazing tribute to a real-life hero, Ben Carlson. Ben died serving his community. I am particularly proud that the fire service recognized this as a line of duty death. In my humble opinion this is no different that a firefighter being killed in a structure fire, or a police officer who is killed in the line of duty.

I attended this ceremony with an engine from my department as well as sending a rescue boat to the morning paddle out.

I was so impressed with the eulogy given by his father. It was an amazing heart felt tribute from a father who truly loved and was proud of his son. As Ben’ father passionately spoke about his son, there was not a dry eye in the crowd.

I admire the relationship Ben had with his parents and also how much his friends loved and respected him. It was also clear that Ben was an incredibly competent lifeguard.

As a fire service professional who is responsible for sending firefighters into precarious situations, it was a good reminder that I never want to give an order that results in somebody getting injured or killed.
Rest in peace Ben!

You can view more about Ben’s service and his Paddle out memorial at: VIDEO, PHOTOS: Ben Carlson Paddle Out Memorial.