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ACR-74 Gary Helming Memorial Highway.(2021-2022)

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Assembly Concurrent Resolution
No. 74

Introduced by Assembly Member Salas

April 26, 2021

Relative to the Gary Helming Memorial Highway.


ACR 74, as introduced, Salas. Gary Helming Memorial Highway.
This measure would designate a specified portion of State Highway Route 41 in the County of Kings as the Gary Helming Memorial Highway. The measure would request that the Department of Transportation determine the cost of appropriate signs showing this special designation and, upon receiving donations from nonstate sources covering that cost, erect those signs.
Fiscal Committee: YES  

WHEREAS, Gary Helming was born On April 14, 1970, to parents Gary and Elizabeth “Liz” Helming in El Cajon, California, where he was raised and eventually graduated from Valhalla High School in 1988; and
WHEREAS, In 1995, Gary volunteered with the Pine Valley Fire Department and then as a seasonal firefighter in the Cleveland National Forest; and
WHEREAS, Gary served on engines and crews with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Colorado, Yosemite National Park, and Ridgecrest, California, before accepting the opportunity to have his own engine with the BLM in Grand Junction, Colorado, in 2001; and
WHEREAS, Over the next 11 years, Gary split his duties between fire suppression and training; and
WHEREAS, In February 2005, Gary and fellow firefighter, Andrea Mohrhusen, whom he met while in Yosemite, joined forces in a beautiful wedding ceremony in Marin County, California; and
WHEREAS, Gary and Andrea’s lives changed forever with the births of their son, Riley Jackson Helming in 2008 and twins Walker Reef and Nalani Christine in 2016; and
WHEREAS, After the birth of his first child, Gary continued his training, becoming qualified as an Air Tactical Group Supervisor, as well as having the honor of becoming a proud member of the BLM National Honor Guard, where he became a strong advocate for fallen firefighter organizations; and
WHEREAS, In 2012, Gary and his family left Colorado and returned to California, with Andrea and himself both being promoted to battalion chiefs for the Los Padres National Forest, putting down roots in Pismo Beach; and
WHEREAS, Outside of being a firefighter, Gary had many passions in life; and
WHEREAS, Gary honed his swimming and diving skills on family trips to Hawaii and absorbed the aloha spirit with the importance of “ohana” (family); and
WHEREAS, Gary was a coowner and off-road racing car driver, racing in many S.C.O.R.E and Baja 1000 events with his teammates as part of the Fire Guys Racing Team; and
WHEREAS, Gary regularly volunteered in his sons’ Cub Scout Pack 425 out of Arroyo Grande, California; and
WHEREAS, Tony Tooke, chief of the U.S. Forest Service in Washington, D.C. said of Gary, “What I learned about Gary lets me know he had passion — he had a passion for his family, he had a passion for helping his fellow man, and a passion for public service,”; and
WHEREAS, In 2017, Gary lost his life while returning from the Railroad Fire near Yosemite, after completing an air attack assignment; and
WHEREAS, Gary is survived by his loving wife Andrea, his children; sons Riley and Walker and daughter Nalani, parents Gary and Liz Helming of El Cajon; sisters, Leslie McLaughlin (Scott) of Riverside, California; Pam Napier (Chuck) of Bremerton, Washington; Deanna Booijink (Stef) of Visalia, California, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews; and
WHEREAS, Gary left a large footprint in an extended family within the firefighting community, in addition to his personal “ohana”; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature designates the portion of State Highway Route 41 from postmile 8.1 to postmile 3.75 in the County of Kings as the Gary Helming Memorial Highway; and be it further
Resolved, That the Department of Transportation is requested to determine the cost of appropriate signs, consistent with the signage requirements for the state highway system, showing this special designation and, upon receiving donations from nonstate sources sufficient to cover the cost, to erect those signs; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the Department of Transportation and to the author for appropriate distribution.