An engineer with the Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue Department and a longtime firefighter with the Orange County Fire Authority were memorialized Saturday in Colorado for their decades of service.
The names of Costa Mesa engineer Scott Coykendall and OCFA firefighter Ron Castro, who was stationed at John Wayne Airport, are now among more than 7,500 etched into the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial’s granite columns in Colorado Springs.
Officials said both men died last year of job-related cancer.
The memorial was created in 1918 by the International Assn. of Fire Fighters to honor those who died in the line of duty. The memorial includes names of those who died on the job or of chronic illnesses linked to their fire service, such as heart disease and cancer.
Coykendall started with Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue as a firefighter in November 1977. He eventually was promoted to fire engineer.
Before joining the department, Coykendall worked for the Arcadia Fire Department and the U.S. Forest Service.
He died of brain cancer on Nov. 10 at age 69.
Castro, a Vietnam veteran, was one of OCFA’s longest-serving employees.
He was born in Santa Ana and graduated in 1967 from Santa Ana Valley High School. He was drafted into the Army shortly after graduation and served in the special forces during the Vietnam War.
Castro was hired as a firefighter in 1972 with the Santa Ana Fire Department, which was taken over by OCFA in 2012.
He was stationed at OCFA Fire Station 33 at John Wayne Airport until he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April 2016.
He died of the disease on Nov. 30 at age 67.