Council session features SPFD Reserves/EMTs badge pinning ceremony

January 04, 2006
Santa Paula City Council

Firefighter/EMT volunteers were introduced to the City Council as they officially received their Santa Paula Fire Department badges from Fire Chief Paul Skeels at the December 19 meeting, where the traditional SPFD pinning ceremony was staged.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesFirefighter/EMT volunteers were introduced to the City Council as they officially received their Santa Paula Fire Department badges from Fire Chief Paul Skeels at the December 19 meeting, where the traditional SPFD pinning ceremony was staged.Chief Skeels told the council that in late 2004, “it became apparent” that providing a round-the-clock firefighter shift at Station 2 would impact the department’s budget and “didn’t leave enough money to pay our paid-call firefighters.” The SPFD converted the paid-call firefighters to volunteer reserves, whose commitment includes serving a minimum of three 24-hour shifts a month.Chief Skeels noted that many volunteers aspire to becoming full-time professional firefighters and the duty is résumé enhancing. During the transition, paid-call firefighters overwhelmingly decided to stay with the SPFD as reserves.
“Tonight is the opportunity to recognize these firefighters who are very active and well trained and award them with the badge they’ve been running around without” for about a year without a formal presentation, joked Chief Skeels. Reserve Firefighters/EMTs Kevin Corbett, Noel Kiesewetter, Morgan Montoya, Dustin Rodriguez, Basilico Yzaguirre and Gregorio Yzaguirre were pinned with the badges, featuring the city logo, by their spouses or family members.Chief Skeels noted that several of the reserves have experience working with other fire departments, come from families with a professional firefighting tradition, and in the case of one reserve is a City of Santa Barbara police officer.Highlighting the nature of the profession, there was an emergency call during the badge pinning ceremony necessitating the hasty departure of several SPFD reserves from City Council Chambers.



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