Senator Thomas J. Umberg Honors Orange County Woman of the Year

March 20, 2023

(Sacramento, CA) – Today, Senator Thomas J. Umberg (D-Santa Ana) announced that he will be honoring Samantha Maria Soto, a Dispatch Supervisor with the Orange County Fire Authority as the Woman of the Year for the 34th Senate District.

“In appreciation for her dedication to emergency response and public health and safety in Orange County, I am proud to honor Samantha Maria Soto as our Woman of the Year for 2023,” said Senator Umberg. “Ms. Soto’s skills and compassion were on display for the community during the Coastal Fire last year where she and her colleagues were the single point of contact for those seeking relief.”

Samantha Soto has been a Fire Communications Supervisor at OCFA since 2007. One of her more memorable 9-1-1- calls came from a prospective dad delivering his own baby.  Ms. Soto calmly walked him through the delivery process while medics were on the way.  As she tells it, after the baby was born, the father said “Ok, what do I do with baby number two?” She notes that “Hearing those two babies cry was probably the best sound I ever heard.”

The same year Ms. Soto joined OCFA, she also became a member of the Orange County Employees Association.  She became a Steward in 2014 where she serves on the budget committee, the bargaining team, and is a member of OCFA’s Joint Labor-Management Committee. In these roles, Samantha is also a delegate to the Orange County Labor Federation.

Senator Umberg, along with the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, sponsors the annual “Woman of the Year” celebration. The event typically includes a special ceremony on the Senate Floor in which most of the Senators honor a woman who has significantly contributed to their district. This year’s event will celebrate California Women Making HerStory.

Senator Umberg added that, “From remotely delivering babies to recruiting female fire cadets and helping to replace smoke detectors, Samantha Soto has dedicated her career to protecting Orange County residents and keeping them safe during times of crisis.”


Senator Thomas Umberg represents the 34th Senate District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Fullerton, Garden Grove, La Habra, Orange, Placentia, and Santa Ana in Orange County as well as South and East Whittier in Los Angeles County. Umberg is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and former federal prosecutor. He and his wife, Brigadier General Robin Umberg, USA (ret.), live in Orange County.