Motorcade honors late SC firefighter

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SANTA CRUZ — The Santa Cruz Fire Department announced the line-of-duty death of Santa Cruz Firefighter/Paramedic Clayton Ogden recently.

Ogden, 47, died from stomach cancer on Aug. 1.

Ogden served the community of Santa Cruz for 18 years. He was part of the initial group of paramedics trained as a Tac-Medic after the deaths of Santa Cruz Police Officers Butch Baker and Elizabeth Butler in 2013. For his actions that day, Ogden was awarded the Medal of Valor for using his own body to shield a civilian who had tripped and was caught in the middle of the firefight between police officers and the suspect.

He also had the honor to be selected by his fellow firefighters as the 2014 Firefighter of the Year.

Ogden died at his home surrounded by family and friends, officials said. He is survived by his wife, Rebekah, and three children, Colby, Sam and Lily.

“Clayton will always be remembered for his beaming smile, his sense of humor and his genuine compassion for humanity,” Battalion Chief Daniel Kline said. 

The funeral was held on Friday at the Merced County Fairgrounds following a motorcade with dozens of emergency vehicles that lined Highway 1 overcrossings and filed through downtown Watsonville where Watsonville Police help smooth a trail through the busy downtown traffic.

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