New U.S. Postal Stamp Honoring First Responders Unveiled In Montecito; Oprah Keynote Speaker

Sep 14, 2018

A new U.S. Postal Service stamp honoring firefighters, law enforcement officers and other first responders had its national unveiling on the South Coast Friday, with Oprah Winfrey helping to do the honors.

The ceremony was a celebration of emergency workers, with a number of them who help deal with the Thomas Fire, and flood in Montecito taking part.

The surprise guest speaker at the event at the Montecito Fire Station was Oprah, who lives in Montecito. She says she was there to thank the first responders as a member of the community, and on behalf of all residents.  Oprah talked about how the disaster gave her a new appreciation for like, saying that too many people went to bed January 8th never to see dawn the next day as a massive debris flow swept through the community.

Longtime Montecito resident John Abraham Powell III got emotional as he says he watched firefighters, law enforcement officers, and other rescue workers save his neighbors, and save their kids.

The new "Forever" stamp features the silhouettes of three first responders, one each in red, white, and blue, looking like they are running towards the scene of a disaster. It was unveiled by Oprah, Postal Service officials, and some of the emergency workers as hundreds of community residents watched.

Montecito Fire Chief Chip Hickman says he’s proud of the first responders help during the community’s pair of disasters, and says they stand ready to step up again if needed.