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Mailbag: Newport Beach offers a Fire Medic Program

Newport Beach Paramedic Steve Martinat the Newport Beach Fire Station 8 in 2018.
Newport Beach Paramedic Steve Martin at the Newport Beach Fire Station 8 in 2018. Martin saved a man’s life by performing CPR on him while off duty in his neighborhood in Huntington Beach. A reader suggests Newport residents consider a Fire Medic Program offered by the city that would save money in the case of a health emergency.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

When I lived on the peninsula, my next-door neighbor was a vibrant young professional who loved to do two things, surf and to go to church. Ralphie had an indelible smile and had a laugh that would make us giggle so hard that we would snort.

We referred to our little community on 28th Street, as “The gang that couldn’t shoot straight.” We took care of each other and we watched out for each other, we considered each other as family.

As the winters slowly turned into summers, Ralphie stopped surfing and was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, (a type of cancer that forms in the bone marrow). We collectively took care of Ralphie and on several occasions we had to call the paramedics.

One sunny Saturday afternoon, I headed out for my walk, when I suddenly received a call from Ralphie, picking up the phone I could hear fear and panic in his voice. He cried, “Peggy, hurry back home and take me to the hospital, I think that I have broken my arm.”

I replied, “Ralphie, let me call the paramedics.” He begged, “Please no, I can’t afford it.” I did not understand at the time what he meant.

I was able to transport Ralphie in my car to Hoag, where he underwent surgery to “pin” together his bones in his arm. As fall approached, we helped Ralphie return to Texas to be with his family, where he eventually succumbed to the disease.

Ironically, a paramedic moved into Ralphie’s little beach cottage. He informed me about the Fire Medic Program that is offered through the Newport Beach Fire Department. For a base fee of $60 per year, a membership will cover you and your family for unlimited paramedic services with no out of pocket expenses. There is also a Newport Beach Business Membership available.

I am appreciative that the Newport Beach Fire Department offers this service to its residents; I just wished I had known about it earlier for Ralphie.

I encourage residents to learn more and to enroll in this program. Information on the Fire Medic Subscription Program can be found on the City’s website: newportbeachca.gov/government/departments/fire-department/emergency-medical-services-division/fire-medics-program or call (949) 644-3383.

Peggy V. Palmer
Newport Beach

Ortiz inspires motto idea

I’ve been following the COVID-19-related events in Huntington Beach for the past several months including the most recent news involving Mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz’s refusal to wear a mask at council meetings.

I suggest a new city motto for Huntington Beach: “Live Free and Die.”

Thank you for your newspaper.

Don Becker
Corona del Mar

The mentality of protesters

Re: Matt Szabo’s report on the protest in Huntington Beach in the Daily Pilot while the recent riot took place in our nation‘s capitol raises the issue of what type of individuals would see this as a legitimate protest.

What could have motivated them to place their life on the line to enable an individual who is unable to accept reality and spread conspiracy theories about the election being stolen without any shred of evidence? Even before the election took place in 2015 and 2020, the president placed doubts on the outcome saying that if he lost the election it had to be rigged. What type of mentality would fall for this empty rhetoric?

The U.S. has always had two main parties and people being conservative, centrist or liberal, but to side with a racist, bigoted, unscrupulous individual can only take place if your thought processes are similar or identical.

This would explain how dictators can gain support if they provide the masses with their wants no matter how selfish or bigoted they are. Now that they have been thrown under the bus will they change their minds about this individual? Doubtful.

Richard C. Armendariz
Huntington Beach

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