Yuma Fire Department Press Releases

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Fire Prevention Week: YFD Firefighter, Fire Engineer,
of the years

The week of October 7th thru the 13th is Fire Prevention Week nationwide and also has been proclaimed here in Yuma by Mayor Douglas Nicholls. Observation of Fire Prevention Week included a Tuesday (October 9th) night event that included the reading of the proclamation by Mayor Nicholls, with the highlighting of advances in fire prevention by Fire Marshal Kayla Holiman and special recognitions of several City of Yuma Fire personnel.

The program progressed to members of the Yuma Fire Department receiving awards for their exemplary performance, service, and achievements. Fire Chief Steve Irr and Assistant Fire Chief Dusty Fields conducted these recognitions with assistance from Mayor Nicholls and City Administrator Greg Wilkinson.

This year’s Support Person of the Year for the Yuma Fire Department is Traci Campuzano. Traci was instrumental in analyzing the data from all areas of fire department responses and then moving that information into a usable template to evaluate and understand agency trends. Traci was the driving force in the gathering, analysis, and dissemination of this required data. We truly would not have been successful in our recent accreditation process without her dedication and commitment.

This year’s Firefighter of the Year for the Yuma Fire Department is David Padilla Jr. David Jr’s commitment to the Yuma Fire Department has long been proven through his consistent actions and projects. Within the last year, he has taught multiple classes for the Professional Services Division to include developing a program and creating the lesson plan to bring our paramedics up to date on new advanced airway techniques.

His commitment to the next generation of Firefighters also runs deep. He has taught multiple classes at the last three recruit academies to include hose loads, hydrant connections, ladder operations, ropes/knots, and nozzle use. He is constantly mentoring the probationary firefighter at station 2 by leading training and proficiency classes even when the station Captain is busy with other duties.

This year’s Fire Engineer of the Year for the Yuma Fire Department is Jordan Bowers. Jordan’s mechanical aptitude and developed trade skills in welding and other domains are regularly utilized both on emergency scenes and to maintain apparatus and facilities. This has been proven time and again through work such as installing the 9/11 memorial at Fire Station 1, critically assisting in the ambulance build/rehabilitation process, and fabricating pull-up bars for various stations. He is adept at both recognizing and resolving problems that arise on apparatus, at a station, or on an emergency scene. Jordan’s efforts as an Engineer far exceed simply performing job requirements. Jordan is in charge of the department’s ladder project and is instrumental as an assistant manager of the wildland fire project.

This year’s Fire Officer of the Year for the Yuma Fire Department is Battalion Chief Richard Root. During the recent accreditation process that Richard was a true asset to the department. He was responsive to requested information and was able to thoroughly articulate the many processes of the agency to the accreditation review team. Chief Root was an instrumental part of the success of our agency accreditation.

While guiding the department through the accreditation process, Chief Root effectively managed the daily responsibilities of the Professional Services Division including recruitment of firefighter candidates, overseeing the hiring process, overseeing the EMS refresher program and all of his other regular duties.

Excellence in Service Awards were also presented to the following;

Medal of Merit- Battalion Chief Jeff Zahn

On January 29, 2018, shortly after 3:30 in the morning, the Yuma Fire Department responded to a construction site fire at the Mesa Heights housing development. Upon arrival to the scene, units found a fully involved section of the construction site with multiple nearby houses in immediate danger of damage or destruction. Fueled by gusting winds and a significant fuel load, this incident became significantly hazardous and evolved extremely quickly.

Chief Zahn facilitated the receipt of mutual aid from surrounding agencies and effectively incorporated their support into the command structure. Furthermore, BC Zahn delegated important tasks while actively maintaining effective accountability of all crews engaged in suppression efforts over a large geographic area. All the while, he ensured the safety of the public and fire crews operating on the scene.

Award of Service- Firefighter Aldo Milan

On September 14, 2018 around 1pm, off-duty firefighter Aldo Millan saw smoke in the Barkley Ranch neighborhood. He located “smoke and flames in the backyard of someone’s home. He verified that no one was home and then pulled a garden hose to the rear of the structure. Responding on-duty firefighters saw heavy smoke from the area and knew going to a working fire. However, the smoke began to diminish, and when they arrived on scene, they had a clear view of the area of the structure where a fire had clearly been burning. The back patio was heavily charred and still smoking but no active fire.” Aldo actions minimized property loss and also ensure life safety was taken care of.

Unit Citation- Mike Walton, William Unterseh, Tom Linville, Erik Lohman, Jordan Simpson, Jason Holiman, Frank Reed, Nicholas Rico, Justin Zahn, Shayne Burney, Robert Smith, Brent Young, Jeff Bird, Alex Urzua, Levi Kester, Brian Friar, Edward Harris, John Anderson, Michael Worwood, Casandra Carranza, Laura Zavala, and Gabrielle Trevino.

In the early morning of September 17, 2018 Members of the fire department and public safety dispatch were notified of a motor vehicle collision at 5 1/2 E and County 12th street. Upon arrival, the first arriving crew found a single vehicle which had crashed into construction pipe that was adjacent to the roadway. The driver of the vehicle was pinned in the vehicle with a metal pipe that had lodged inside his vehicle penetrating him which made it impossible for him to move. The three engine companies, one ladder company, and the medic unit worked for approximately 45 minutes and were able to cut the pipe and stabilize the patient. The patient was moved to a gurney and placed in an air ambulance for rapid transport to the nearest trauma center in Phoenix.

All crews worked calmly, professionally, and kept clear communications with all the team members. Dispatch was instrumental in keeping the scene running smoothly with excellent communications during the incident. The actions by all of the individuals on this day is being recognized for a unit citation award.

In addition, recent YFD promotions and new hires were recognized.

Fire Captains: Frank Reed, Alvin Luedtke, and Dennis Gasrow.

Fire Engineers: Ian Reed, John Dunbar, Aaron Wonders, and Ryan Johnson.

New Firefighters: Ryan Herzog and Shayne Burney

Congratulations to all for a job well done!