Photos by Mary Thompson
The Firefighters’ Ball and Awards Ceremony was a huge success honoring Ventura City firefighters and providing fire families a night of fun and camaraderie.
Highlighting the Ball were the Department’s annual awards:
Captain Austin Araiza received the Firefighter of the Year award for his exceptional work in arson investigations, training new team members, and ensuring the correct use of protective gear.
Engineer Zach Benner was recognized as the Paramedic of the Year for delivering high-quality care and serving as a leader among peers (see separate article).
Captain Christopher Pironti received the Greg Andrews Safety Award for his commitment to workplace safety and support for the Peer Support Team.
Luis Martinez was honored as the Fire Prevention Employee of the Year for his dedication to customer service and producing quality work.
The Matthew Clapsaddle Career Achievement Award was created to honor fallen Firefighter-Paramedic Matthew Clapsaddle, and it was presented to Firefighter-Paramedic Ryan Howard for his support to the Clapsaddle family and his role in the Peer Support Team.
Additionally, Captain Shawn Hughes, Captain Kyle Tong, and Administrative Assistant Kris Edwards received the 3rd Alarm Award for their exceptional support to the department.
After the awards, guests enjoyed dancing, casino games, and a raffle.