San Bernardino County Fire Benevolent Foundation provides support to our Firefighters and their families during times of need. Our Foundation provides vital financial support and serves as a link to many alternatives to take care of our Fire Family.

We, at San Bernardino County Fire step into work each day ready to serve the public. It is no secret that in doing so we face bodily extremes and injury, exposure to carcinogens, psychological and emotionally destabilizing events, and other life- threatening conditions. We accept this as a possible consequence of action in working as a frontline of defense for each of our communities we serve. We stand proud in our commitment and will always be ready to step into action during the public’s most vulnerable and chaotic moments.

We, as the Foundation, offer to those that stand in defense of San Bernardino County a helping hand and know that no firefighter is ever alone. Help will be there and ready when it is needed. Our Foundation’s commitment does not end once the tones and sirens are quiet. We understand that the ramifications of incident exposure expand to down time, off-duty time, and to the family at home. We will bring assistance to all who wear the San Bernardino County Fire patch and the badge, and to their affected family.

On September 7, 2023 the Arce family received devastating news. Their son Camden was diagnosed with a very rare genetic mutation of the SPTAN1 gene.

Camden was born on April 7, 2023 at 35 weeks, weighing 4lb 10oz. Where he spent the next four weeks in the NICU to work on feeding and weight gain. Since birth, Camden has been through some extensive monitoring and testing for lack of gaining weight, however Camden was not reaching his growth and developmental benchmarks. Chris and Nicole have been working diligently to find some answers. After genetic testing was done. The Arce family finally had a diagnosis. That diagnosis being a SPTAN1 gene mutation.

This mutation is very rare with only 140 known cases worldwide and only 5 cases in the US. Prognosis is poor with death usually occurring in infancy, 50% before the age of 2. At this time, there is no current treatment or cure. Currently, Camden is being followed by his Neurologist, Ophthalmologist, Gastro doctors along with weekly appointments for Physical and Occupational Therapy.

Due to the mutation, Camden was not making weight and developmental benchmarks. Nicole has recently left her teaching job to become Camdens full time caregiver.

San Bernardino County Fire Department stands behind their firefighters and their families. We will support the Arce family throughout this unknown and stressful time. We are reaching out on behalf of the Arce family for financial assistance to help them through the difficult time ahead as their is a lot unknown about this gene mutation.

The San Bernardino County Fire Benevolent Foundation is a non-profit charitable Foundation with the express mission of assisting firefighters and their families when faced with unexpected illness and tragic circumstances. Donations will help to meet the needs of the Arce family throughout this difficult process.

The Arce family wishes to express their immense gratitude for all who have supported them thus far, and for any person who can help in any way.

Karl and his family need our support. It had been confirmed by an Oncology team that Karl had Stage 4 Pancreatic cancer that metastasized to his liver, and also his kidneys. This caused issues with kidney function, fluid retention, body pain, and swelling.

Unfortunately, Karl passed away on Nov. 2nd at Kaiser Los Angeles.

Karl was supported continually at his bedside by his girlfriend and 4 kids. He had a continuous stream of love with visitors from many SBCoFD personnel (especially so with those who transitioned from Upland FD), Local 935, LA SAR (where Karl was a volunteer), and multiple surrounding fire agencies. Someone was by his side since he arrived at Kaiser Sunset, by his side after his passing, and during a procession for him that led all the way to the high desert. Local 935, The San Bernardino County Firefighters Association, the San Bernardino County Fire CARE Team, and the San Bernardino County Fire Benevolent Foundation are all working together to support Karl's family through this and will remain by their side throughout.

The family cannot express their thanks enough for the flow of visitors that lifted their spirits and provided comfort. Everyone will always remember Karl's favorite greeting as “Every day is a gift brother!”. That could not be more true now. Please keep Karl's family in your thoughts and prayers. Funeral arrangements will be announced in the near future.

*All information contained in this email is released with the permission of Karl Hegle and family.

Fire Marshal Mike Horton

Chief Horton went to be with his Savior from the comfort of his home the morning of Nov. 2, with his wife and family by his side. Mike was battling esophageal cancer. Earlier in the year, he began a treatment known as trimodality therapy, a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Unfortunately, there were complications following surgery that could not be reversed.

Chief Horton proudly served his country in the U.S. Army for 3 years, prior to entering the fire service in 1981 as a firefighter with the Norco FD. He served in various firefighting ranks with the State Correction Facility, the Agnews FD and Riverside Co FD, joining San Bernardino Co Fire in 2006 as the Deputy Fire Marshal. Chief Horton took the helm as Fire Marshal in September 2013.

Chief Horton cherished his fire family and leaves behind a legacy. His wife Kayla and family extend their sincere appreciation for your support during these trying times.

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"San Bernardino County Fire Benevolent Foundation"

Please mail to: 7023 SVL Box, Victorville, CA 92395

As the size of San Bernardino County Fire District expanded, so did the needs of the personnel. We found an increasing number of life-altering incidents that changed the dynamic of a person’s ability to even continue their employment. We would see an employee’s family member affected with a catastrophic event that would ultimately fiscally and psychologically effect the employee’s livelihood leaving them to have to attempt to neglect their family to continue to work. We, at San Bernardino County Fire

District are a family. We depend on the support of our loved ones at home to keep us stable at work for extended periods of time. We found ourselves confronted with family members in crisis and would extend our helping hand to them, thereby continuing to take care of our own.

After continually organize fundraising efforts for each individual incident with amazing support form the fire family and community we serve, it soon became necessary to streamline this into our own Charitable Foundation to complete the work in an organized process. This vision led to establishing a nonprofit Foundation committed to service to our own. San Bernardino County Fire Benevolent Foundation uses 100% of your donation directly to support our mission.

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