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First Responders – Enter for Your Chance to Win a $7,500 Garage Makeover

Garage Makeover California CasualtyCalifornia Casualty is thanking first responders with a new Work Hard/Play Hard Sweepstakes. One lucky law enforcement officer, firefighter or EMT will receive a $7,500 Garage Makeover.

The winner of the newest Work Hard/Play Hard Sweepstakes will be handed a $7,500 check to create the garage of their dreams.

Imagine the possibilities: new cabinets, custom tool storage, new flooring or even a beverage area to go with a big screen TV.

Whether it’s a gym, workshop, or refuge from the stresses of the day, we want to help you create your ultimate garage. It’s our thanks for the hard work first responders do to keep our communities safer.

“We are grateful for the tough job first responders do every day for all us,” said California Casualty Sr. Vice President Mike McCormick. “We wanted to show our appreciation and provide a useful way to say thanks.”

The $7,500 Garage Makeover drawing is open to peace officers, EMTs and firefighters – American heroes who work hard and risk their lives. Entries will be accepted through October 31, 2019, at  The winner will be announced in November.

Previous Work Hard/Play Hard winners have won Liberty Safes, DeWalt Tools, motorcycles, and cash. Past winners include an Oregon Police officer, Colorado Sheriff’s captain, Firefighters from California, Nebraska, Ohio and Pennsylvania and a California Highway Patrolman.

Best Firefighter Quotes – International Firefighters’ Day

Best Firefighter Quotes – International Firefighters’ Day

The role of a firefighter in today’s society – be it urban, rural, natural environment, volunteer, career, industrial, defence force, aviation, motor sport, or other is one of dedication, commitment and sacrifice – no matter what country we reside and work in. In the fire service we fight together against one common enemy – fire – no matter what country we come from, what uniform we wear or what language we speak. –Lt JJ Edmondson, 1999

When a man becomes a fireman his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that is all in the line of work. –Edward F. Croker

I can think of no more stirring symbol of man’s humanity to man than a fire engine. –Kurt Vonnegut

Neither fire nor wind, birth nor death, can erase our good deeds. –Buddha

More often than not, a hero’s most epic battle is the one you never see; it’s the battle that goes on within him or herself. –Kevin Smith

Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, & how to be free from it, that’s the point. Necessity of action takes away the fear of the act, and makes bold resolution the favorite of fortune. –Francis Quarles

That’s the life, being a fireman. It sure beats being a ballplayer. I’d rather be a fireman. –Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox

If Prometheus was worthy of the wrath of heaven for kindling the first fire upon earth, how ought all the gods to honor the men who make it their professional business to put it out? –John Godfrey Saxe

The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it. –Thucydides

True courage is being afraid, and going ahead and doing your job anyhow. That’s what courage is. –General Norman Schwarzkopf

A hero has faced it all: he need not be undefeated, but he must be undaunted. –Andrew Bernstein

The hero is the man who lets no obstacle prevent him from pursuing the values he has chosen. –Andrew Bernstein

Aspire rather to be a hero than merely appear one. –Baltasar Gracian

I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. –Christopher Reeve

Real heroes are men who fall and fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they’ve stayed true to their ideals and beliefs and commitments. –Kevin Costner

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. –Joseph Campbell

Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the ‘hero’ within us is revealed. –Bob Riley

If the smoke is moving faster than you can, you have been warned! –”The Art of Reading Smoke”

Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety. –William Shakespeare

Man is the only creature that dares to light a fire and live with it. The reason? Because he alone has learned to put it out. –H.J Vandyke

To me, there’s only 5 real jobs in America: Police Officers, Teachers, Firefighters, Doctors, and the Military Service. –Charles Barkely

And where two raging fires meet together, they do consume the thing that feeds their fury. –William Shakespe

Courage is fear holding on a minute longer. –General George Patton

Courage isn’t that you can see what lies ahead; courage means you will advance not knowing but doing at all costs. –Byron Pulsifer

Firefighters never die, they just burn forever in the hearts of the people whose lives they saved. –Susan Murphree

The truth about plume dominated fire is like a forward pass in football. Three things can happen and two of them are bad. –R. Rothermel

The most tangible of all visible mysteries – fire. –Leigh Hunt

Waiting, prepared to serve, is serving. –Chief Mike West

Untutored courage is useless in the face of educated bullets. –George S. Patton

There are no new lessons to be learned from this fire; only old lessons that tragically went unheeded. –Percy Bugbee

Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid. –Franklin P. Jones

Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death. –Omar Bradley

I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling. Our proudest moment is to save lives. Under the impulse of such thoughts, the nobility of the occupation thrills us and stimulates us to deeds of daring, even of supreme sacrifice. –Chief Edward F. Croker

Fight till the last gasp. –William Shakespeare

Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brace by doing brave acts. –Aristotle

The brave man is not he who feels no fear, for that were stupid and irrational; But he, whose noble soul its fear subdues, and bravely dares the danger nature shrinks from. –Joanna Baillie

Where fear is present, wisdom cannot be. –Lucius C. Lactantius

Brave men are all vertebrates; they have their softness on the surface and their toughness in the middle. –G.K. Chesterton

We deceive ourselves when we fancy that only weakness needs support. Strength needs it far more. –Madame Swetchine

The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. –Buddha

No path of flowers leads to glory. –Jean de La Fontaine

Nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted by nature to bear. –Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Be bold and mighty powers will come to your aid. –Basil King

Character is not made in a crisis it is only exhibited. –Rose Dorothy Freeman

There are no great men, only ordinary men, who have met extraordinary challenges. –Admiral Halsey

A plan is nothing; planning is everything. –General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Courage is fear holding on a minute longer. –General George Patton

In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments – there are consequences. –Robert Ingersol

Courage is resistance to fear, the mastery of fear — not the absence of fear. –Mark Twain

Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud. –Sophocles

The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy. The Pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic and terrible waste of time. –E. Bliss

None of us is as smart as all of us. –Eric Schmidt

Success is a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you are tired — you quit when the gorilla is tired. –Robert Strauss

Don’t prepare. Begin. Our enemy is not lack of preparation. The enemy is resistance, our chattering brain producing excuses. Start before you are ready. –Steven Pressfield

Never stand begging for that which you have the power to earn. –Miguel De Cervantes

A superior person is one who when safe does not forget about danger, and who in times of order does not forget about disorder. –Chinese Song dynasty

Leadership is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without one, be without the strategy. –Norman Schwarzkopf

The man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done. –Theodore Roosevelt

Training produces the skills; Circumstance provides the opportunity; Experience instills true knowledge. –Unknown

I think that anyone who says that he can predict a fire season with any accuracy has to be either absolutely brilliant, or God’s own fool and I’m not either one. So I’m not even gonna try. –Unknown

In fire you can plan everything out to the minute, and a minute before that — everything changes. –Dan Felix

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. –Nelson Mandela

One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do. –Henry Ford

Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him. –Aldous Huxley

None knows the weight of another’s burden. –George Herbert

When you are making a success of something, it’s not work. It’s a way of life. You enjoy yourself because you are making your contribution to the world. –A Granatelli

A great deal of talent is lost in the world for want of courage. –S. Smith

An effective human being is a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. –Ida P. Rolf

There is some place where your specialties can shine. Somewhere that difference can be expressed. It’s up to you to find it, and you can. –David Viscott

When the deepest part of you becomes engaged in what you are doing… you are doing what you were meant to be doing. –Gary Zukav

The majority of people perform well in a crisis and when the spotlight is on them; it’s on the Sunday afternoons of this life, when the nobody is looking, that the spirit falters. –Alan Bennett

Success comes in a lot of ways, but it doesn’t come with money and it doesn’t come with fame. It comes from having a meaning in your life, doing what you love and being passionate about what you do. That’s having a life of success. When you have the ability to do what you love, love what you do and have the ability to impact people. That’s having a life of success. That’s what having a life of meaning is.  –Tim Tebow

Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

One can be a brother only in something. Where there is no tie that binds men, men are not united but merely lined up. –Antoine De Saint-Exupery

If you fell down yesterday, stand up today. –H. G. Wells

There is nothing noble in being superior to some other person. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self. –Ernest Hemingway

True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us. –Socrates

It does no harm just once in a while to acknowledge that the whole country isn’t in flames, that there are people in the country besides politicians, entertainers, and criminals. –Charles Kuralt

Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them. –Bruce Lee

There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm. –Willa Cather

Confidence is the most important single factor in this game, and no matter how great your natural talent, there is only one way to obtain and sustain it: work. –Jack Nicklaus

First Responders – Be Kind to Your Heart

The men and women of public safety are tough, in control, and working to put others ahead of themselves. It takes a lot of “heart” to do the job. If you wear a uniform, be aware that your risk of heart disease might be higher than the general population.

First Responder Heart Health

February is Heart Month – a reminder that we all need to take care of our hearts so we will be around to celebrate many more Valentine’s Days with our loved ones.

The Risk  

Being a first responder is one of the most stressful jobs in the U.S. Long shifts, life and death situations, and strenuous physical exertion can take a toll on the heart. A number of studies involving law enforcement officers found sudden cardiac deaths accounted for 10 percent of all on-duty police deaths in the U.S.

Cardiovascular disease was found to be the primary on-duty and lifetime mortality risk for firefighters.

The danger increased for first responders who were diabetic, overweight, smoked, used excessive alcohol and didn’t exercise.

Female officers, firefighters and EMTs also need to pay attention. Their rates of heart disease and heart attack have increased, and the Centers for Disease Control lists heart disease as the leading cause of death for women in the U.S.


While we may not be able to reduce the stress involved with public safety, there are clear steps that can cut your risk of heart disease:

  1. If you smoke, quit
  2. Improve and control cholesterol levels
  3. Reduce high blood pressure
  4. Exercise
  5. Eat a heart-healthy diet
  6. Get to a healthy weight
  7. Get adequate sleep
  8. Reduce alcohol intake
  9. Begin aspirin therapy

Police and fire organizations are now calling for mandatory medical exams, wellness and fitness requirements and annual physical fitness performance evaluations. They also recommend that individuals buddy-up and create workout groups, walking clubs and other physical challenges in for their departments.

Law enforcement officers can find heart-healthy tips at

Firefighters can go to


5 Proven Tips for Fighting Winter Fires

Firefighters say that house fires increase in the winter months. Most the fire starters include food left on the stove, candles left near flammable items like decorations or curtains, or space heaters left unattended and close to flammable objects.

As firefighters respond to calls during cold weather conditions, it’s not just about fire and smoke in the structure, but staying attuned to what is happening as a result of snow, ice, freezing rain or wind. Maintaining situational awareness is essential.

• Pay attention to your surroundings at the scene, including your crew and the building structure.
• Proper ladder placement can be critical. With harsh weather conditions, be extra diligent.

The weather can also affect the drivers during the winter. 24% of vehicle crashes occur during rain, sleet, snow or fog, and slick pavement.

Keep this in mind when responding to accidents. The same conditions the accident occurred, weather-related, will also pertain to your experience. It’s essential to arrive at a scene quickly, but not worth risking your safety too.

Uneasiness increases when drivers hear sirens or see lights behind them. Their reactions are mostly stopping short in front of you or skidding into oncoming traffic, which may turn into another incident.

• Drive appropriately for the weather conditions.
• Remember that driving defensively doesn’t mean aggressively
• Always wear your seat belt.

Importantly, stay alert, drive smart, be safe and stay warm.




Join California Casualty in Thanking First Responders

The words “incomprehensible,” “terrible,” and “devastation like we’ve never seen or imagined” continue to be used to describe the impact of the fires that ravaged and changed the face of Santa Rosa and areas of Sonoma and Napa counties in October. The images of the wind-blown firestorm are seared into our consciousness.

In the aftermath, vast acreage was blackened and trailer parks, hotels and neighborhoods were decimated – leaving our hearts heavy for those who lost family, friends or their homes.

It would have been much worse if not for the heroes who saved countless lives and property. During the firestorm, first responders stood tall as the fury unfolded around them. They made valiant runs into choking smoke and pitch dark conditions to rouse and rescue those caught off-guard, guiding and carrying the infirmed or confused as the relentless inferno consumed everything in its way. They are an inspiration to us all.

Most of those in uniform say they were just doing their job; helping others at their own peril, even while their homes and property were threatened.

As the smoke clears and the damage assessed, we want to thank all the first responders and volunteers who made a difference for so many.

Please join California Casualty in expressing our sincere gratitude to the hundreds of law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTS and others who put themselves in harm’s way to protect our community. To all our heroes, we appreciate and thank you!


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