Memorial Services Planned for Firefighters Killed in Helicopter Collision

Three memorial services have been scheduled to honor the lives of the three firefighters who tragically died in a helicopter collision while battling a brush fire in Cabazon. The victims include Fire Assistant Chief Josh Bischof, Fire Captain Tim Rodriguez, and contract Cal Fire pilot Tony Sousa.

The first memorial service will be held on Monday at 11:30 a.m. for Fire Captain Tim Rodriguez at the Ontario Convention Center in Ontario. On Thursday at 11 a.m., Fire Assistant Chief Josh Bischof’s memorial service will take place at the Toyota Arena in Ontario. Finally, a private lakeside ceremony in Gerber, Tehama County, California will be held on Friday at 6 p.m. to honor the memory of contract Cal Fire pilot Tony Sousa.

The celebrations of life for Rodriguez and Bischof will be live-streamed for public viewing, while Sousa’s service will remain private. The Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department expressed their deep sorrow over the loss of these esteemed firefighters in a statement, saying, “Our hearts are broken at the loss of our colleagues, mentors, and friends.”

The helicopter collision involved a Sikorsky S-64E helicopter and a Bell 407 helicopter, resulting in the fatalities of all three individuals aboard the Bell helicopter. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and representatives from Bell and Sikorsky are currently investigating the accident. Witnesses or those with information regarding the incident are encouraged to contact the NTSB at [email protected].

This tragic event serves as a reminder of the bravery and dedication of firefighters who put their lives on the line to protect communities. The loss of these three individuals is a tremendous blow to the firefighting community and their loved ones. Our thoughts and condolences go out to their families and friends during this difficult time.

– Cal Fire
– Riverside County Fire Department
– National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
– Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)