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Coffee Bean Barista Abby Schiaffinlo was happy to be out serving the crowd. (Photo by Chris Frost)
Thursday, May 30, 2019

By Chris Frost


Oxnard— Warm sunny weather and lots of coffee highlighted the Second Annual Coffee with First Responders event at The Coffee Bean on Victoria Ave. May 25.


Attendees enjoyed an afternoon of fun and were treated to free coffee and tea outside, courtesy of the Oxnard Fire Department.


Barista Abby Schiaffinlo said it’s her first time involved with the coffee event and she loves meeting all the people who come out to visit with the fire and police departments.


It took a couple of hours to set up the coffee station for the fire department.


“We’re a high-volume store, so we have to help our guests get set up,” she said. “I got to try on all the fireman’s gear, so that was cool. I couldn’t lift my feet (after I put on the gear) so I couldn’t go out for a run.”


The venue was serving its “Heroes at Heart Roast” coffee and tea, and $1 from each purchase goes to the California Fire Foundation and the California Peace Officer’s Foundation.


“We’re also supporting the 100 Club in Arizona,” she said. “It’s the same as the fire foundation here, but it’s in Arizona.”


The department was also holding a raffle, and participants could win coffee merchandise.


Schiaffinlo thinks the world of the first responders and admires how they keep the community safe.


“One of my good friends is about the take the EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) test in California, and it’s cool,” she said. 


Love and foam aeration are the secrets to making a good mochaccino, Schiaffinlo said, and whole milk is the best way to make good foam.


Chief Darwin Base said he appreciates businesses like The Coffee Bean and how much they care about the first responders.


“They’re helping us too,” he said. “That’s why we enjoy these events.”


Attendees asked lots of questions.


“There is a county engine here, and people don’t know where the county comes from,” he said. “We’re educating the public. The questions are more about operational things.”


One truck at the event had a surfboard on it, and the department does get called to the beaches.


“We don’t have lifeguards at the beaches, so if there is an incident, somebody is going to have to go rescue someone when they are floundering around in the surf,” he said. “That’s us.


Using a first responder is something you hope never happens, he said, but other times it is a thankless job.


“That’s okay,” he said. “There are 25,000 calls in the City of Oxnard, so we need it. I appreciate how we are able to provide that quality service to our residents.”


Oxnard Police Department Senior Officer Paul Knapp brought his Saint Bernard “Tank” with him, who is currently training to become a Volunteer Police Dog.


Volunteer Police Dogs go to community events, meet people, and socialize.


“He’s in training right now, and he’s doing a great job,” he said. “He loves the food; he loves people and loves children.”


Paul’s son Preston accompanied him to the event and said he’s joining the army.


“After I start on July 29, I am going in as military police,” he said. “In 1.5 years, my plan is to change over to K9, and eventually, I want to go into law enforcement.”


With his goals in mind, he said the military is his best option.


“I can still go to college afterward,” he said. “I can also go to college while I am in the military. It’s a big life experience.”

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