First Responders Honored

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 20, 2018
Montecito Firefighters with the new Honoring First Responders Forever Stamp
Montecito Fire chief Chip Hickman with Bucket Brigade founder Abe Powell at the Forever Stamp unveiling

At a special ceremony at Fire Station 1 last week, the United States Postal Service unveiled a commemorative Forever Stamp that honors first responders. USPS district manager Alfred Santos told the large crowd that he was moved to host the unveiling in Montecito, following the Thomas Fire and January mudslides, and the exceptional work of first responders in our community. 

Following the singing of “God Bless America” by mudslide survivor Lauren Cantin, Montecito Fire chief Chip Hickman shared his thoughts about the recent disasters, saying that he has never been more proud of the Montecito Fire Department and nearby agencies. “Without the heroic actions of our first responders, the impacts could have been much worse,” he said. 

Speakers included Bucket Brigade founder Abe Powell and local celebrity Oprah Winfrey, who both expressed their gratitude to first responders as well as “second responders” – those who helped and continue to help mudslide victims. Special guests included local fire chiefs and members of the Sheriff’s Department, as well as additional emergency responders. 

The Honoring First Responders stamp features a symbolic scene that shows a firefighter carrying an axe, an Emergency Medical Service worker carrying an emergency bag, and a law enforcement officer shining a flashlight. The stamp was created by artist Brian Stauffer and is available for purchase at post offices and online at


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