Local officials held a solemn ceremony Saturday dedicating the “CAL FIRE Firefighter Cory Iverson Memorial Highway” for the fallen hero from Escondido who died in the line of duty fighting the Thomas Fire in 2017 in Ventura County.
An 8-year CAL FIRE veteran, Iverson had worked 7 years with the Harmony Grove Fire Department before joining Cal Fire in 2009.
On Saturday, in conjunction with the dedication, the Escondido Charter High School held a First Responder Fundraiser. This year’s fundraiser honored Iverson. ECHS students sold t-shirts at the Blue Mug Coffee Shop to raise money for Iverson’s family.
The students are taking a criminal justice class from retired Escondido Police Lieutenant, Al Owens, who told the students that he wanted them to see the risks involved in such a job, and the sacrifice.
The retired police lieutenant first started holding a Fallen First Responder Fundraiser two years ago. They have traveled to Palm Springs to honor fallen officers and visited the family of an Escondido police officer, Laura Perez, who was murdered by her husband.
The students tell Owens these are experiences they will never forget. This year they met Iverson’s widow, Ashley and his 5-year-old daughter, Evie.
Mrs. Iverson has founded the Iverson Foundation to help first responders deal with mental health issues.
Commenting on Iverson, Escondido Fire Chief Rick Vogt commented, “It is extremely meaningful that a segment of I-15 in Escondido will be dedicated to the memory of CAL FIRE’s Cory Iverson because this is his hometown. It is also a significant because firefighters from federal, state and local government agencies work side by side battling wildfires. We truly consider each other, regardless of the patch on our shirt, to be members of one family.”