Andy Valenta grew up in Southern California and knew early on that the fire service was his calling in life. After being top in his class in paramedic school and the fire academy, he was hired with the Vista Fire Department in San Diego County in 2012. Andy remained with Vista until the end of his career, 11 years later. Andy worked as a firefighter-paramedic and had an active role in the union. While there, he was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 2013. Andy was known for his big personality and even bigger heart. He honored the brotherhood and made each shift entertaining for everyone he worked with. His very first call on the job involved saving a baby’s life.
One of the most talked about “Andy stories” at work involved him being challenged to eat an entire gallon of jalapeños in one sitting, including the juice. He did it, but the rest of that shift did not go so well for him!
In 2021, Andy was diagnosed with Stage 4 melanoma and died three months later, at the age of 33. He is survived by his wife, Caylie, and two young daughters, Lily (age 6) and Grace (age 4).
Andy is heavily missed by many, many family members, friends, and fellow firefighters.