Mike Herdman’s wife Bridget and daughter Sienna as the hearse pulls away following the service Wednesday morning. A small procession of firefighters escorted the coffin. – Photo by Terry Miller
Mike Herdman’s Memorial Service brings out hundreds of Firefighters, Family and Friends ‘Our Hearts are broken’
By Terry Miller
A special memorial was held Wednesday at Arcadia Performing Arts Center for Arcadia Firefighter Mike Herdman, who died as a result of a fall while camping outside Fillmore recently.
Hundreds of firefighters, family friends and dignitaries and police officers attended the celebration of the firefighter/paramedic’s life Wednesday morning to remember Michael Phillip Herdman, who was born in 1977. The capacity crowd which included city council members and former police chief Dave Hinig as well as firefighters from all over the southland who remembered firefighter Herdman for not only a wonderful and generous spirit but one of great playfulness on and off duty. The display of flowers and surfboard plus the ever-present racing bicycle stood to the right of the flag draped coffin as friends remembered the tests of endurance he would challenge his brothers, regularly. But most of all, each speaker told of the love of his life, his 6-year-old daughter Sienna. We was devoted to her so much that he’d pull her out of school to go to the beach…just because. The tearful recollections were peppered with many humorous anecdotes that Mike Herdman was known for, including dressing up once as Goldilocks.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Department discovered Michael Herdman’s body two weeks ago in rugged terrain approximately 1200 feet above the Sespe River outside of Fillmore. On Friday, June 13, 2014, Arcadia Firefighter/Paramedics, Mike Herdman and Taylor Byars, became separated while on a weekend camping trip in the Sespe Wilderness Area. Mr. Byars looked for Mr. Herdman and made his way out of the wilderness area and notified authorities on the evening of Sunday, June 15, 2014. Beginning on Monday June 16, 2014, the Ventura County Sheriff and Fire Department, along with hundreds of volunteer Search and Rescue personnel, searched for Mike Herdman concluding in the recovery of his body last Friday morning. Beth Stogner, Arcadia Fire spokesperson, said: “Our hearts are broken, individually and collectively, by the news of Mike’s death. We are forever indebted to the Ventura County Sheriff’s and Fire Departments for their gallant and exhaustive efforts to find our brother and friend and bring him home. “We extend our deepest and most heartfelt sympathy to Mike’s family and stand ready to assist them in the difficult days, weeks, and months ahead. “We also want to express our sincere thanks to our community and the many others who shared an outpouring of love and support.” Mike Herdman, 36 years old, was a 7-year veteran of the Arcadia Fire Department.