Arnie was a remarkable man. He had a magnetic‚ caring personality and a charismatic contagious smile. He had the extraordinary ability to embrace others and make them feel welcomed‚ respected and loved. He was passionate about his faith in Jesus Christ‚ his family‚ friends and firefighting. He believed he could do all things through Christ‚ who gave him strength. He strongly believed in the principles of: honor‚ compassion‚ integrity‚ dedication‚ justice‚ and pride. When he gave his word‚ he followed through and made absolutely certain that he could be relied upon. Arnie lived a life driven by a desire to meet his responsibilities and fulfill his promises.
Arnaldo ‘Arnie’ Quinones was born September 16‚ 1974‚ in Manhattan‚ New York. At 12‚ Arnie moved to California with his brother Ozzie Jr.‚ mother Sonia‚ and father Ozzie Sr. He had an exceptionally close bond with his family. While attending Bethel Christian High School‚ Arnie met Lori‚ his soul mate and wife. He was devoted to his family and deeply excited about the upcoming birth of their first child. There is no doubt that he was going to be a great father to their daughter‚ Sophia Grace‚ who was born in September 2009. He was a wonderful uncle to his 8 nieces and nephews.
Arnie began his dream to become a Firefighter and a member of the ‘brotherhood’ it represented when he became a LACoFD Explorer during high school. In 1998 he became a call firefighter. He graduated from the 104th LACoFD Academy in 2001. As a firefighter‚ Arnie was the type of person every Captain would love to have working for them‚ they knew that what ever job they gave him it would get done. Arnie worked at many different fire stations‚ and was the consummate student who never missed the opportunity to grow. He promoted quickly after joining the Department and planned on working his way up the ranks. He found his true calling in 2005 after being promoted to Firefighter Specialist and was assigned to the Wildland Section of the Department at Camp 16 on Mount Gleason. As a Foreman‚ Arnie supervised and trained Inmate Firefighters. He is credited with establishing the synergistic relationship between the Fire and CDC staff‚ which brought the entire camp together as a family. His work in the camps impressed more than his colleagues. He ran a program for his crew members that were filled with discipline‚ hard work‚ and pride. He treated the crews with dignity and respect and in turn was well liked and respected by them. He was a born leader‚ one who led by example and one who believed in the concept of team. He took great pride in training his team and made certain that they were prepared for the worst conditions. Arnie loved his job‚ his fellow firefighters‚ and the people whom he served. In the early summer of 2009‚ Arnie saved the life of a female inmate who was injured and would have succumbed to her injuries without his quick action. He never expected accolades for doing what he loved.
Arnie was dedicated to both his duty and his country. He was proud to be an American and cherished his Puerto Rican Heritage. After 9/11‚ his patriotism and devotion to firefighting compelled him to place a tattoo tribute‚ covering his back‚ memorializing the Twin Towers and his fallen brothers of the FDNY. Inscribed on his tattoo was the motto‚ ‘First In‚ Last Out.’ He truly believed that these were not simply words…rather; they were a way of life. Arnie was a genuine man. Arnie was the real deal. On Sunday‚ August 30th‚ Arnie delivered on every promise that he had ever made. He was brave… He was strong… He was noble. He was the ‘First In’ and he was the ‘Last Out.’ He gave his life to save others. In the words of Vice President Joe Biden ‘Thank God we have people like him.’
The Reverend‚ Peter Marshall said‚ ‘The message of life is not the duration‚ but its donation.’ Arnie died much too soon‚ but made a great donation to our lives and the countless lives of others. We are heartbroken by the loss of Arnie‚ who so deeply impacted his family‚ friends‚ and ‘brothers’ of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. He made a lasting impression on everything he did and everyone he met. We miss him.