Yuma Fire Department Press Releases

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Fire Prevention Week Recognition, Proclamation, and Awards
Of the Year Award Winners

The week of October 8th thru the 14th is Fire Prevention Week nationwide and also has been proclaimed here in Yuma by Mayor Douglas Nicholls. Observation of Fire Prevention Week began Tuesday evening (October 10th) with the highlighting of advances in fire prevention by Fire Marshal Kayla Holiman, reading of the Fire Prevention Week Proclamation by Deputy Mayor Gary Knight, and special recognitions of several City of Yuma fire personnel and others.


This year’s Support Person of the Year for the Yuma Fire Department is Stephanie Caraway. Stephanie is always helpful, and knows how to get things done! She took on additional workload when one of the administrative positions was vacated for a few months. Stephanie always makes us smile, and will get done whatever you ask her to do. She checks our payroll entries to make sure everything is correct for us, makes our travel easy, and keeps us in line with our purchasing cards. Stephanie does many other things and her efforts are greatly appreciated.

This year’s Firefighter of the Year for the Yuma Fire Department is Aaron Wonders. Aaron has served the citizens of Yuma for nearly 5 years now and his “happy to be here” work ethic, social skills, and excellent customer service has not faltered.  His hard work and positive attitude are contagious, motivating those around him to smile and be more productive; on scene Aaron easily builds rapport with patients and treats each and every citizen with kindness and respect as if they were his own family.

Aaron manages to balance taking the lead on various projects with grace and skill, while still meeting his day-to-day station responsibilities and providing excellent customer service when duty calls. He has completed requirements to be on the Engineer promotion list.  Other noteworthy “extras” Aaron include the YFD Open House, Cooperative Education, Strategic planning team, and the Accreditation team.

This year’s Fire Engineer of the Year for the Yuma Fire Department is David Zanovitch. David Zanovitch is an extraordinary employee who works diligently to refine his trades as both an Engineer and Paramedic. He pays careful attention to detail and always knows the nuances of his Engine. Because of his attention to detail things that could potentially be major problems are caught and fixed as routine maintenance. 

David brings a calm demeanor to each call that helps promote sound judgement and positive outcomes. As a team player David brings up all the people around him. David is a silent leader and is constantly leading by example. He routinely takes on reasonability to help out with Hazardous Materials Team projects. He is an extremely skilled musician and a vital contributor to the United Yuma Fire Fighters Association Pipes and Drums band. Above all David is a devoted Husband and Father.

This year’s Fire Captain of the Year for the Yuma Fire Department is Brandon Case. For the past five years, Brandon has shown a continuous commitment of not just meeting but exceeding the goals of our department.  Brandon is a constant professional who works well with co-workers and through his example encourages them to be better.

When he is rendering care on EMS scenes his bedside side manner is second to none. Brandon truly strives to be a patient advocate, making sure that their needs are met and that everything that can be done for the patient is completed prior to leaving them. While working under difficult, stressful emergencies he remains calm and has a command presence which brings about a calming feeling amongst the crew.

Other Awards and recognitions:


Fire Engineers: Alvin Luedtke and Robert L. Smith

Excellence in Service

Unit Citation: Fire Captains Kris Leon and Hector Gaxiola, and IT Business Applications Analyst Daniel Venditelli

Award of Service: Fire Engineer Robert L. Smith

Award of Service: Fire Captain Richard Nevlis

E.F. Sanguinetti Award: Traci Campuzano, IT Technical Service Specialist (Retired)

Congratulations to all for a job well done!