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Memorial service held for Coachella Valley native killed fighting NorCal wildfires

By in Press Enterprise on October 27, 2017

By City News Service

Firefighter Garrett Paiz, a Coachella Valley native who died in a car crash while battling the recent wildfires in Northern California,
was remembered today as a hero who died doing what he loved and like his fellow firefighters, never put his safety before others.

Paiz, 38, died on Oct. 16 after the water tender he was driving overturned down a steep hillside in Oakville. Paiz was delivering water to
firefighters battling the Nun Fire, one of several deadly brush fires that scorched Napa and Sonoma counties this month.

Paiz, who was born in Indio and graduated from Coachella Valley High School, was remembered during a public Friday morning service at Destiny Church, 82625 Showcase Parkway.

Obed Martinez, the senior pastor at Destiny Church, where Paiz’s brother also serves as a pastor, praised Paiz and his fellow firefighters for “going to work for others.”

Martinez, whose father was a firefighter in Los Angeles County, said “Garrett, like my dad, never woke up in the morning to go to work for

Paiz would “volunteer to go and do what most of us wouldn’t do,” and would be remembered for his selflessness.

“This is what Garrett leaves us,” Martinez said. “If there’s anything you’re going to walk out today with, I believe this is exactly what he would want you to walk out with, and it’s this: Don’t live to do something you’re not willing to die for.”

Among those in attendance were Rep. Raul Ruiz, Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia and members of the Noel Fire Department, where Paiz volunteered in southwest Missouri.

Noel’s fire chief, Brandon Barrett, led the Firefighter’s Last Alarm, with the tolling of a firehouse’s bell signifying a firefighter’s final call
for service.

Following the memorial, Paiz was interred at the Coachella Valley Cemetery in Coachella. Paiz lived in Missouri with his wife and was a volunteer firefighter with the city […]    

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