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Fire Prevention Week Proclamation, Awards, and Recognitions
Fire Prevention Week Proclamation, Awards, and Recognitions

Observation of Fire Prevention Week began yesterday evening with a Proclamation read by City of Yuma Deputy Mayor Edward Thomas, and special recognition of several City of Yuma fire personnel.

Members of the Yuma Fire Department were selected for their exemplary performance, service, and achievements. Representing the YFD for these presentations was Fire Chief Steve Irr. Assisting Chief Irr were Deputy Mayor Thomas, City Administrator Greg Wilkinson, and Assistant Fire Chief Dusty Fields.

This year’s Support Person of the Year for the Yuma Fire Department is Heather Pyeatt-Morris. As a Public Safety Communications supervisor, Heather is an outstanding employee who has great internal customer service.  She has on numerous occasions gone out of her way to find out critical information to reduce or defuse stressful situations.  She is a steady performer who is always looking for ways to improve our relations with the dispatchers and supports those she works with.

This year’s Firefighter of the Year for the Yuma Fire Department is Alexander Diaz. Alex has been working at YFD for 4 years and has shown his dedication and commitment time and time again.  Alex has a positive attitude and his customer service skills have left an impact on his crew and the citizens he serves. Alex is a member of the Hazardous Materials Team and is very active in the Team’s training.  In addition, Alex also dedicates time to help out with community events, one of which is a fire camp whose goal is to introduce young ladies to careers in the fire service.  His involvement with the camp is highly appreciated, and it would not be the same without his expertise and presence.

This year’s Fire Engineer of the Year for the Yuma Fire Department is Frank Reed. Fire Engineer Frank Reed exemplifies the qualities that others in his position should strive to emulate including; professionalism, dedication, knowledge and experience.  When given additional responsibilities he tackles them with the dedication and professionalism that are second to none.  When operating equipment in emergency situations, Frank is always cool, calm, collected and does not allow for outside distractions to interfere with his accomplishment of duties. During the last year Frank functioned as a Cadre Captain. He has stepped up any time the department needs him to fill in that role. His skill and ability is appreciated by his peers.

This year’s Fire Captain of the Year for the Yuma Fire Department is Richard Nevlis. Captain Nevlis stands out among his peers by being a Captain who can be depended on in every situation whether it is on an emergency scene or simply managing his crew and his daily workload. Captain Nevlis truly reflects the ideals, dedication and traditions that are strived for in the fire service. He takes pride in the care of both his firehouse and his crew.  In an age where demands on our crews and company officers seem to increase almost daily, Captain Nevlis will not only complete the workload that he has but he is always willing to accept more responsibility when it benefits the needs of the department or its members. After over twenty years of service when many company officers are eyeing a lesser workload, Captain Nevlis accepted the challenge of training a rookie firefighter to pass on his knowledge and training while guiding him through a successful probationary year.

A Customer Service Award was presented to Capt. Tony DeAnda for providing exceptional service to a citizen in need. This was done while off duty and literally included giving them the shoes off of his own feet.

The Department’s E.F. Sanguinetti Award, used to recognized individuals who, though pure selflessness, invest their time, talent, expertise and energy, toward building a safer community, was presented to Amanda Aguirre. Amanda and her organization, the Regional Center for Border Health have enthusiastically supported our education efforts through grants that have assisted the Yuma Fire Department with:
• Continuing education – Has allowed us to increase the quality of care to our community
• Increase our efficiency through providing quality education programs that without her support we would not be able to provide.
• Allowed us to meet the needs of the community in a time when financial resources have been lean and the need for additional Paramedics has been great.
• Amanda was critical in funding a paramedic program that is ongoing.  She has funded 12 students into the program and every department in the area had an opportunity to get students into the class.  This is great for our community and the future of our paramedic services. Amanda is currently researching and developing a model for Community Paramedicine that can be used by local agencies to provide expanded medical services throughout the community.

In addition, YFD’s newest Fire Inspector/Investigator, Mark Gordon, received his badge from Fire Marshal Kayla Holiman, and Firefighter Jeremy Tyree was sworn in as a member of the United Yuma Firefighters Association Honor Guard: Pipe and Drum unit.

Congratulations to all for a job well done!


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