Orange County firefighter dies after routine training exercise
An Orange County firefighter died Thursday morning after a routine training exercise, authorities said.
Battalion Chief Kris Concepcion of the Orange County Fire Authority said James M. Owen, 56, collapsed in full cardiac arrest after an urban search-and-rescue drill in Irvine. Concepcion did not know if Owen had just finished a classroom session or an active part of the drill.
Owen, a firefighter paramedic, had spent much of his 30-year career at Irvine’s Fire Station 4.
“Jimmy was an icon at Station 4,” Concepcion said. “He knew just about everyone in the community.... He would do just about anything for you. He was known to be one of the best firefighters around.”
Concepcion described Owen, his former medic partner, as an assertive firefighter who was nonetheless “very compassionate” when performing paramedic duties.
Owen is survived by his wife, Sharon, and sons Jimmy, Daniel and Kevin.