Sam Dudley | Credit: Hospice of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara County Firefighter Sam Dudley shared emotional stories of tragedy and hope as well as how Hospice of Santa Barbara counseling has helped him after experiencing grief and loss on Wednesday, October 7, during Compassionate Care of Carpinteria (CCC)’s virtual event, “The Light Shines Ahead.”

After losing his father, Hospice of Santa Barbara (HSB) flew into his life just four days prior to his passing. Dudley was honored to be the keynote speaker for the event, where he addressed the issue of “self-care” in difficult times and staying ahead of the curve in terms of our own emotional health. Dudley also shared his experience as handler to Rhonda, the Fire Department’s first emotional-support canine and how she provides comfort and support to first responders.

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“It was incredibly generous for Sam to allow himself to be so vulnerable and honest during our event. Sam spoke so clearly from the heart about his experiences, including finding a young victim of the Montecito mudslides, and the importance of self-care. We are so fortunate to have him in our community,” said David Selberg, CEO of Hospice of Santa Barbara.

The CCC virtual event raised over $37,000 for CCC programs and services. CCC, which was launched a few years ago, is an initiative of HSB and offers the same programs and services directly to the Carpinteria community. The volunteers and staff in Carpinteria have made a significant impact there by bringing much-needed grief and patient care services. Part of the growth of CCC includes some special events that seek to both raise funds and awareness of the services.

To learn more about CCC, please visit


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