SPFD Fildes honored, Medicine Shoppe highlighted at GMSP

March 26, 2008
Santa Paula News

The Chamber of Commerce honored one of the longest serving Santa Paula firefighters and an update on a vibrant local business was offered at the March Good Morning Santa Paula.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesThe Chamber of Commerce honored one of the longest serving Santa Paula firefighters and an update on a vibrant local business was offered at the March Good Morning Santa Paula. The Medicine Shoppe/Amani Hishmeh hosted the Chamber-sponsored event held at Logsdon’s at the Santa Paula Airport.Fire Chief Rick Araiza noted the time change and apologized for being a few minutes late. “Assistant Chief Kevin Fildes called when I didn’t show up... that’s his job, to cover for the Fire Chief, and that’s why he is the Public Safety Officer of the Month.”Fildes has been a member of the Santa Paula Fire Department since 1982, making him and Captain Steve Lazenby the “two longest on the department... Kevin handles all our fire prevention,” including hazardous materials and wild land issues.“Kevin used to do the training, but we took that away from him,” said Araiza. “It was too many hats... he already does it all and does it great.”Fildes was recognized by the state, receiving a top award for the hazardous material program he crafted. In addition, he “recently implemented a self-inspection program” for area businesses, as well as a program for public assemblies. And, Araiza added, “On top of all that he goes to most of the fires that are of significance,” including being the incident commander for the Glen Tavern Inn fire in 2006.A lifelong Santa Paula resident, Fildes’ wife is a Ventura County emergency dispatcher.
Becoming a member of the SPFD “changed my life,” said Fildes. “I was born and lived here all my life except for two years when I moved to Palm Springs.... I hated it,” and wasted no time in returning to Santa Paula as “this was home.”Offered positions with other departments, Fildes said he has not been tempted. “I love it here, it’s what I want to do and where I want to do it.”Former SPFD Chiefs Lloyd Onstot and Frank Bullard talked him into joining the SPFD, and “25 years later I’m still here and love being here,” including the “good friendships and working relationship with Rick, it’s fun and exciting; each day is something new.” Fildes thanked the community for its support, demonstrated by the “phenomenal” Moonlight at the Ranch fundraiser.Amani Hishmeh, sister-in-law to incoming Chamber President Sam Hishmeh, is the managing partner of The Medicine Shoppe. Santa Paula is “a wonderful, beautiful town, it was the first for us” when it came to the family enterprise that now owns more than a dozen Domino’s Pizza shops and several pharmacies.The Medicine Shoppe has been in business “for almost 30 years and we’ve owned it about 10 years,” providing work for many employees who are dedicated to customer service. “We care about our customers and their health... come in, give us your information and we’ll take care of it fast.”“It’s been wonderful see friends and customers, and I want to thank you for doing what you do” that allows the company to not only offer employment but also to support area nonprofits. And, joked Hishmeh, “For those of you who are not customers, what the hell are you waiting for?”John Macik/Santa Paula Chevrolet provides the Chamber with the monthly award plaques.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.