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By Aaron Briner
Sep 17, 2018 at 08:44 PM
Oprah Winfrey joins first responders for special event
Oprah Winfrey and Montecito Fire Chief Chip Hickman were part of a ceremony celebrating a new USPS Forever stamp honoring first responders. The event featured the Ventura City Fire Department Bagpipers.

The United States Postal Service celebrated the release of its new Honoring First Responders Forever stamp at a special event today at the Montecito Fire Department.

The 50-cent stamp honors the skills, dedication and unfailing bravery of the nation’s first responders – firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical service professionals – who rush into life-threatening situations for the benefit of others. 

Global media leader and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey served the keynote speaker and thanked first responders in Santa Barbara County for their heroism and efforts during the destructive Thomas Fire and devastating mudslides of 2018. Other speakers included John Abraham Powell, founder of the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade, and USPS Sierra Coastal District Manager Al Santos. 

Local teen Lauren Cantin, who was rescued after being trapped inside her Montecito home for hours following the mudslide, opened today’s ceremony with a rendition of “God Bless America.”

Participating in the event were representatives from Santa Barbara County Fire, Santa Barbara City Fire, Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District, U.S. Forest Service, Santa Barbara County Sheriff, Santa Barbara Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue, California National Guard and American Medical Response of Santa Barbara.

Customers may purchase the stamps through the Postal Store at, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) or at Post Office locations nationwide.

Posted in Featured News.
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