The Oceanside Fire Department celebrated the 90th anniversary of the installment of its first paid Fire Chief, Walter Johnson. Walter Johnson was selected to be the first paid Fire Chief on October 10, 1929. Johnson held that position until 1959. A commemorative ceremony was held in front of Oceanside’s Fire Station 1 which opened in 1929, the same year Johnson became Fire Chief.
To commemorate the life and service of Chief Johnson, the current Fire Chief, Rick Robinson, proclaimed that today and every October 10th would be remembered as “Chief Walter Johnson Day”. Robinson remarked, “I hope every member of the Oceanside Fire Department will take time to reflect on the past and look toward the Department’s best future.”
Firefighters and staff donned cowboy hats for the commemoration -- an iconic symbol of Chief Walter Johnson over the years.
Present at the celebration were members from Chief Johnson’s family. They included his daughter Marjorie Breen, granddaughters Jill Reilly with husband Bob and Linda Weseloh with husband Peter. Also attending were two great-granddaughters and a great-great-grandson.