An award-winning Pasadena firefighter not only saves lives here at home, he volunteers his free time to help victims of disasters around the country.
Pasadena Fire Capt. Robert Sepulveda is part of a team of local firefighters who volunteer to help when disaster strikes.
"We landed in a tropical storm which was quite an experience," he said.
Top news of the day
After Hurricane Irma, Sepulveda's team drove 12 hours from Atlanta to Fort Myers and Naples, Florida, to help victims of the storm.
The team went to Florida to support the non-profit search and rescue organization Reach Out Worldwide, which was founded by late actor Paul Walker.
"When you have skills that you learn through fire service you have to get out there and gain that experience and give back to the community as much as you can," Sepulveda said.
Pasadena is the headquarters to Task Force Four, a statewide search and rescue team with the skills needed to help in a disaster wherever it may strike.
"It's just overwhelming to watch what's going on," said firefighter and paramedic Richard Roldan. "Knowing that we could get there and do some good immediately once we land."
Sepulveda's team worked nonstop for 48 hours, then in 12-hour shifts once they reached areas hit by the hurricane. People who were surprised to learn their rescuers had come all the way from the West Coast.
"When we told them we were from Pasadena, California, they were blown away," Sepulveda said. "They could not comprehend how far we went just to offer our assistance and volunteer."
The next day, Sepulveda was back at work in California, as part of the strike team for the Corona Fire.
There's no time to rest for a dedicated firefighter who, along with his teammates, is willing to travel far and wide to help people in need.