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The ‘best and bravest’

Laguna Beach firefighter Logan Garber and seven other battalion members each received a reserve firefighter of the year award Feb. 4.

Garber, an Emerald Bay fire station reserve, was honored at the Orange County Fire Authority Best and Bravest awards ceremony.

Greg McKeown, an OCFA public information officer, said Garber was chosen out of all the nine fire stations in Battalion 5 for instructing his community in CPR and first aid.

Garber, 23, says he was proud to represent Fire Station 11 on Feb. 4.

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“It was cool, because the award is not just for me,” Garber said. “That’s the best part, because there’s other reserves in our battalion and to win it for our station was awesome.”

Peter Spinazzi, one of his colleagues, said that Garber is one of the hardest-working members of the Emerald Bay station. Spinazzi said Garber has also been trained in paramedics.

“When we go on medical call, for instance, there’s one guy that’s, colloquial term being, the ‘patient man,’” Spinazzi said. “And Logan’s definitely the ‘patient man.’ Logan’s generally the ‘patient man’ because he’s got the knowledge. He’s got the background.”

Garber was also the coordinator for the Spark of Love program, working with the Marines to pick up toys and distribute them to churches and hospitals in Orange County.

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“I was glad to hear that our goal was met and to see if all the orders met for the kids,” Garber said.

Garber also participated in counter-terrorism training classes, held through Homeland Security. He and other law enforcement professionals were trained to detect and prevent the detonation of weapons of mass destruction. They also learned what to do when they receive a bomb scare or an actual bomb call.

“It’s scary to think that we have to learn this now, but this is kind of how the world is changing,” Garber said. “It’s kind of unfortunate that we have to learn this, but it is something that is changing with 9/11 and certain things like that. This is going to be the new era that we need to be ready for.”

Garber said his goal now is to give his teammates the in-depth training he has.

“I’ve been able to get two other guys to go to my classes,” Garber said. “And I’m getting two other guys interested in going, so we’re all on the same page and actually taking that class, as opposed to me just teaching them bits about it.”

Garber graduated in 2004 from Laguna Beach High School.



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