First Responders Honored at Fire Hose Flag Ceremony on Anniversary of Debris Flow

Montecito Fire Chief Chip Hickman shares a few words during a January 9th flag dedication ceremony at the Santa Barbara Courthouse (Courtesy Photo).

A flag dedication ceremony was held at the Santa Barbara Courthouse the morning of January 9th, 2019, the one-year anniversary of the Montecito Debris Flow. Elected officials and first responders joined the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation (PCVF) and representatives from Montecito Bank & Trust as an American flag made of fire hose from Santa Barbara and Montecito Fire Departments was put on public display.

The fire hose flag was created by retired Santa Barbara City firefighter John Carrillo to honor the first responders who risked their lives to aid those who were impacted by the Thomas Fire and Montecito Debris Flow. Carrillo agreed to create a limited number of fire hose flags available for purchase, with all proceeds benefitting PCVF and their support of local veterans. Montecito Bank & Trust purchased one of the flags and agreed to keep it on display at the Santa Barbara Courthouse for one month before it is moved to its permanent home at the bank’s Coast Village Road branch, which was heavily impacted by the events from last January.

PCVF co-founder Hazel Blankenship, Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo, Supervisor Das Williams, Montecito Fire Chief Chip Hickman, Santa Barbara Superior Court Judges Michael Carrozzo and Brian Hill, and Montecito Bank & Trust Chairman & CEO Janet Garufis and President and COO George Leis all shared thoughts about the tragedy’s impact on the community and the heroism of first responders.

To learn more about the fire hose flags, visit

About Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation

Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation is committed to honoring the men and women who have served in uniform at any time. PCVF does this by supporting veterans and active duty members, and related partner organizations, in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, as well as preserving military history and legacy. The Foundation works to uphold Pierre Claeyssens’s vision that those who have served are “Never Forgotten.” PCVF is funded entirely by private donations. For more information, visit or call (805) 259-4394. 

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