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Grateful Locals Pitch In with Donations for Family of Ventura County Firefighter Ryan Osler

Official funds established to assist widow and children, but fatal wreck moves Lompoc Valley residents to make it personal

With local firefighters standing at attention on Highway 101 overpasses Wednesday afternoon on the South Coast, a procession of Ventura County Fire Department fire engines accompanied the hearse carrying the body of Fire Engineer Ryan Osler back to Santa Clarita. The 18-year VCFD veteran was killed Wednesday in a rollover wreck of his water tender near Lompoc. Click to view larger
With local firefighters standing at attention on Highway 101 overpasses Wednesday afternoon on the South Coast, a procession of Ventura County Fire Department fire engines accompanied the hearse carrying the body of Fire Engineer Ryan Osler back to Santa Clarita. The 18-year VCFD veteran was killed Wednesday in a rollover wreck of his water tender near Lompoc. (Ryan Cullom / Noozhawk photo)

A farm stand in the Lompoc Valley has decided to donate sales proceeds to the family of a Ventura County firefighter killed when his water tender crashed while en route to the Canyon Fire at Vandenberg Air Force Base earlier this week.

The gesture is one of many ways that locals are responding to help one of those who was there to help them.

Fire Engineer Ryan Osler, 38, of Santa Clarita, died in the wreck early Wednesday at the Purisima Road roundabout on Highway 246 about 2½ miles east of Lompoc.

The cause of the crash is under investigation but authorities say the water tender struck the roundabout and the impact sent the truck into a rollover before it landed on its passenger side.

The rig’s driver — a firefighter-paramedic whose identity has not been released — suffered minor to moderate injuries, officials say. Osler, the passenger, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Osler, an 18-year veteran of the Ventura County Fire Department, is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and their two children, Amanda, 12, and Brandon, 11.

Ventura County Fire Engineer Ryan Osler. Click to view larger
Ventura County Fire Engineer Ryan Osler. (Ventura County Fire Department photo)

Hundreds of firefighters from throughout California and beyond have been assigned to help the Vandenberg Fire Department battle the Canyon Fire, which ignited Sept. 17 burning on the south end of the sprawling Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The Ventura County water tender crew was assigned to help with helicopter operations.

Upon hearing of the tragedy, Dare 2 Dream Farms, at 890 Lasalle Canyon Road near Lompoc, announced it would give proceeds from its farm stand to Osler’s widow and family, according to a post on the company’s Facebook page.

The loss touched Dare 2 Dream’s owners, Megan and Jeremy Raff, because their home is in Lasalle Canyon, one of two canyons to receive evacuation warnings in the early days of the fire. Several crews from the Ventura County Fire Department remained on the road as a precaution during the peak of the fire Monday night.

Their presence allowed residents to sleep peacefully.

“Furthermore, if it wasn’t for the firefighters from all over the country fighting the Canyon Fire there is no doubt in my mind the fire would have reached our farm and the homes surrounding us,” the Raff s said on Facebook.

“Our hearts grieve for Ryan’s wife and young children, and no words or action will ever express how truly grateful we are for his selfless service.”

The Cabrillo High School Aquarium’s first open house of the school year — from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 28 — will accept donations for the Osler family.

“I’d like to extend my gratitude to the community for their compassionate response and offers of support in the wake of Engineer Ryan Osler’s death,” Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said. “On behalf of all the men and women of the Ventura County Fire Department, thank you.”

Ryan Osler is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and their children, Amanda and Brandon. Click to view larger
Ryan Osler is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and their children, Amanda and Brandon.  (Ventura County Fire Department photo)

Lorenzen said Osler’s late father also was a Ventura County firefighter, working for the department for more than 20 years.

“We watched Ryan grow up with us as he followed in his father’s footsteps,” he said. “He became successful in his own right, and was a true public servant with a sincere passion to help others. Ryan will be missed.”

The department has asked that donations for the family go to the Ventura County Professional Firefighters Association’s Widows and Orphans Assistance Fund.

Checks, with Osler Family in the notation field, can be mailed to VCPFA, 3251 Corte Malpaso, Suite 501 B-C, Camarillo 93012. Click here to make an online donation.

Ventura County fire officials said 100 percent of contributions to the fund will go to Osler’s family.

Osler’s brother-in-law, John Yniguez, established a GoFundMe that had raised more than $23,000 toward its $50,000 goal as of late Friday. Click here to make an online donation.

Other GoFundMe pages have been started, allegedly to benefit the family, but do not appear to have any obvious connection to the Oslers.

Funeral arrangements are pending and information will be made available as soon as details are finalized, Ventura County officials said.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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