Live Stream: Memorial Celebrations of Life for Two Riverside County Firefighters

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CA — Ensuring that everyone who wishes to pay their respects has the opportunity, memorial celebrations of life for two courageous Cal Fire/Riverside County firefighters, who tragically lost their lives in a helicopter crash earlier this month, will be broadcasted via live stream. This announcement was made by authorities on Thursday.

The celebration of life for Captain Tim Rodriguez, aged 44, hailing from San Jacinto, is slated for 11:30 a.m. on August 21 at the Ontario Convention Center, located at 2000 E. Convention Center Way. The livestream of this event will be accessible through the fire department’s official YouTube channel.

Similarly, the celebration of life for Assistant Chief Josh Bischof, aged 46, from Menifee, will take place at 11 a.m. on August 24 at the Toyota Arena, situated at 4000 Ontario Center in Ontario. The live broadcast of this memorial can also be viewed on the same YouTube channel.

For those unable to join in real-time, the videos will be archived on the channel, allowing individuals to watch the ceremonies at their convenience, as confirmed by the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department.

“The CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department extends its heartfelt gratitude to the community for the overwhelming support and solidarity shown. Providing the live stream option reflects the Department’s dedication to inclusivity and community involvement during these challenging times,” stated the agency in a released message.

It’s important to note that the celebration of life for 55-year-old helicopter pilot Tony Sousa of Red Bluff, who also tragically perished in the crash, will remain a private affair, according to the fire department.

The tragic crash occurred on August 6th at 6:55 p.m. during the efforts to combat a Cabazon brush fire. The incident, near Pipeline Road and Apache Trail, involved a Sikorsky S-64E helicopter and a Bell 407 helicopter. Unfortunately, all occupants aboard the Bell helicopter lost their lives, as confirmed by the National Transportation Safety Board and Riverside County sheriff’s officials.

Cal Fire Southern Region Chief David Fulcher stated during a media briefing after the accident, ‘While engaged in the firefight, two helicopters collided. The first helicopter was able to land safely nearby. Unfortunately, the second helicopter crashed and, tragically, all three members perished.’

Cal Fire Riverside Chief Bill Weiser shared his condolences, saying, ‘Our hearts are broken at the loss of our colleagues, mentors, and friends. Josh and Tim were exceptional firefighters and people. We grieve with their families and loved ones, and our prayers are with them.’

The accident is under investigation by the NTSB, the Federal Aviation Administration, and representatives from helicopter manufacturers, Bell and Sikorsky.”

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