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Create a Smile


Special Events

San Mateo County Public Safety Memorial Service
Redwood City Fire Captain Greg DaCunha took the lead in organizing the formal tribute to fallen public safety members in San Mateo County. The inspiration for the service resulted from the line of duty death of Redwood City Firefighter Matt Smith and was seen as an opportunity to honor Matt and other public safety professionals in the County.

The first annual service took place at the Mount Alverno Retreat Center in Redwood City on Sunday, September 8, 2002 and remembered public safety professionals from Southern San Mateo County. Due to the success and positive feedback of this first event, and consistent with the organizing committee’s original intent, the service has been expanded to include all public safety agencies from San Mateo County. The annual service is now held at the Cunningham Memorial Chapel at College of Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont.

The 2011's event was a success . The next Memorial Service will be on Sunday September 9, 2012 at Notre Dame de Namur University at 10:00 a.m.

County public safety agencies including fire, police, American Medical Response(AMR), California Highway Patrol(CHP), and the County Sheriff’s Office all have representatives present to read the names of their fallen members and retirees who have passed away. San Mateo County chaplains conduct the service which is non-denominational. All are invited to join in the commemoration and honoring of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

July 4th Pancake Breakfast
Each year the Redwood City Firefighter’s Association puts on its annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast fund raiser. The Firefighter’s Association has a great time feeding the public at Station 9 on the morning of the 4th of July. Last year the Firefighters fed almost 1,000 people. The firefighters used 250 lbs of pancake mix, 25 gallons of syrup, 65 lbs of breakfast sausage and 50 gallons of coffee. The Firefighters turn on their grills at 5:00 AM, and start serving the public at 7:30 AM. Come enjoy a fun breakfast that goes to a good cause.

July 4th Holiday Parade
In the July 4th parade antique fire equipment is paraded through the streets of Down Town Redwood City.

The Fire Department also does behind the scene work: conducting safety inspections of parade floats, providing paramedics on bicycles for easy access through the crowds, and overseeing the overall health and safety of the parade, the participants and the spectators. We have additional crews who respond to the added call volume associated with large crowds and the high fire danger during the summer. In the evening we conduct the safety inspection of the traditional July 4th fireworks display.

Burn Relay - August
Once a year the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation has a fund raiser in the bay area operated through the local fire departments called the Burn Relay. A “parade” of Professional and Privately owned fire engines travel from Santa Clara to San Francisco. With the efforts of the California Highway Patrol as escort and Channel 5 News as a celebrity host, the parade of engines slowly travels to each city’s main fire station with lights and sirens to collect the fund raising money from the fire department. Most of the money comes personally from the Fire Fighters and Staffs’ pockets, with some of the larger donations coming from fund raisers. In 2002, over $150,000 was raised through the Peninsula’s fire departments.

The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation holds an annual Summer Camp in June for any child between the ages of 5 and 16 year of age who has been hospitalized by a burn. The children are primarily from California. The camp is held at a “Dude Ranch” in Sanger, California just east of Fresno. The camp offers sailing, go-carts, horse back riding, swimming, a ropes (challenge) course, a one-day field trip to the water slides and many other activities. It is an opportunity for the children to not feel like outcasts in society and to see other children who have more challenges in life than themselves. It’s a place where they can take their shirts off and not be ashamed of their injuries. All counselors are volunteers; many are from the fire service but that is not a requirement. It’s a place where burn-injured children can grow by leaps and bounds in one short week - that’s “Champ Camp!”

If you wish to donate to the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation you can call 1-800-242-BURN, see or contact Redwood City Fire Fighter Jeff Timms at RCFD 650-780-7400.

Hometown Holiday Parade
In December, there is a parade downtown to celebrate the joy of the season. The crowd is smaller than on July 4th. The Fire Department oversees the safety of the participants, especially children. One of the highlights of the evening is the lighting of the large Redwood tree in front of City Hall. The grand finale is a traditional holiday fireworks display.

Redwood City Firefighter's Association and the Redwood City Police Activities League Toy and Book Drive - December
Police and Fire team up to make a lot of people very happy every holiday season! Roughly 900 families in Redwood City will see Santa arrive at their house in either a police car or a fire engine in December. Not just Santa, but Santa with a large plastic bag full of wrapped toys for the children at each house where he stops. Names of worthy recipients are gathered through the Fair Oaks Community Center*.

Police and Fire work together in managing the toy and book drive. Their work includes recruiting businesses to place cans in their offices/stores and/or contacting stores directly for donations and sending thank you notes. In 2001, 50 local businesses filled 80 barrels for a generous total of 11,000 toys collected. On top of that 25 businesses sponsored wrapping parties by providing food and drink for volunteers. The two public safety agencies also recruited over 500 volunteers to wrap the gifts collected. Contact Justin Velasquez for more information.

Redwood City Police and Fire Toy and Book Drive:

The Police Officer's Association and Redwood City Fire Department’s Create-A-Smile Foundation, both donate money to buy wrapping paper, tape, toys and books. If you are interested in making a tax deductible donation please make checks payable to:

Redwood City Firefighters/PAL Toy and Book Drive
Redwood City Fire Station #9
755 Marshall Street
Redwood City, CA 94063

You could also have a holiday party that sponsors the toy and book drive. Ask the guests that attend your work or home party to bring a new unwrapped gift to the party. We will arrange to have a fire department representative attend the party to collect toys and give a description of what the program is about. If you're interesting in this option contact Justin Velasquez at (650)780-7400 or

For more information go to the Redwood City Toy Drive web page.

The entire drive consists of a wrapping party, three delivery nights and one day where Fire Station 9 is turned into a toy store and families can “shop” for toys. About 100 families visited last year. This years wrapping party will be on December 13th from 5p.m. until finished at Red Morton Community Center (1120 Roosevelt Ave./Redwood City).

*The Fair Oaks Community Center is a multi-service facility located on the border of Redwood City and Unincorporated North Fair Oaks. The Center provides emergency and other direct services to primarily low income families in the area - including, but not limited to housing assistance, emergency food, shelter referrals, crisis intervention, client advocacy, immigration and citizenship assistance, legal assistance, and counseling. The community center additionally houses a childcare center and senior center program.

95% of the families receiving gifts from the Toy Drive earn less than the equivalent of $30,550 for a family of 4. Most live in apartments, trailers, in-law units, studio apartments, or garages.

9-1-1 Memorial Stair Climb

On Saturday Sept. 10, 2011, Redwood City Fire Dept hosted a 9/11 memorial stair climb at 300 Oracle Parkway Ca. 94065 at 9am.


We asked 343 Firefighters from all over the state to climb 110 floors (untimed) wearing only their turnout jacket, t-shirt, shorts, and tennis shoes.   These Firefighters carried one of the names of the fallen 343 FDNY and later placed it on a memorial. 


This was not only a memorial for the fallen 343, but it was the 10th anniversary for the family and friends left behind.


For more information e-mail Mickey Noack or call (408)205-5521. You can also check out the website:


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