Ramon Clemente Figueroa was born January 3, 1985, with an adventurous and fighting spirit. He spent most of his childhood outdoors, bike riding, rollerblading, and playing with friends. He graduated from Delano High School in 2003.
The tragedies of 9/11 inspired him to dedicate his life to a career of first responding. In his words: The morning of September 11, 2001, I was walking into weight training my junior year of high school. As we watched the events unfold, I felt every bone in my body at unrest. I knew then it was in me to become a first responder. The morning of September 17, 2007, I walked onto my first day as a full-time firefighter. I’ve always held myself to the bravery of those 343 firefighters that answered the call and made the ultimate sacrifice. I can only hope I become half the firefighter those were on that day.
In 2006, he began his career as a volunteer firefighter/EMT at Lindsay City Fire Department working under his father, the police and fire chief. In 2007, he was hired by Porterville City Fire Department, where he served for 13 years, continued his training and schooling, and was eventually promoted to captain. He responded to his last alarm at the Porterville Public Library fire on February 18, 2020.
“Ray” held associate degrees in wildland fire and fire technology, certification as a State Fire Marshal Arson Investigator II, and a Chief Officer Certificate. Ray was signed off by the State Fire Marshal office as a low angle rope rescue instructor and an instructor in all state arson courses. He was a fire academy instructor at Porterville College. Motivated to provide the best knowledge and skill for his crews, he dedicated his time to learning and mentoring. He valued the brotherhood of firefighters and vowed to never leave a brother behind, often citing the mantra, The men, the mission, then me.
Ramon’s greatest accomplishment was being Dad to Amelia and Phoenix, who were his pride and joy. He enjoyed frequent outings with them, Disneyland trips, and watching movies. He could also be found fishing, golfing, target shooting, powerlifting, snowboarding, and visiting friends and family. His faith in God and love for family were driving forces in his life.
In addition to his children, Ramon is survived by his father, Ramon Figueroa (Sylvia); mother, Anna Moreno (José); and siblings, Rosanna Natividad (Anthony), Angelica Sanchez (Fernando), Desiree Ortiz, and Zachariah Figueroa (Saidee). It is an honor that his name stands alongside the brave and heroic men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice and inspired him at a young age.