Money raised will be used to support the Ventura Fire Foundation’s programming. Photos by Mary Thompson
The Ventura Fire Foundation, in partnership with the Ventura City Fire Department, celebrated the Ventura City Firefighters at the 2022 Firefighters’ Ball, presented by Flying Embers. The event was held on June 10, at the Olivas Adobe. Firefighters in their Class A uniforms, and their spouses attended an evening of recognition, camaraderie, and celebration.
The actions of five sworn personnel and one civilian employee were recognized by the Ventura Fire Department and the Ventura Fire Foundation. Additionally, thirty-six employees were promoted, and forty-seven Lifesaving Medals were distributed for excellent service to the City of Ventura.
“The City is blessed to have so many exemplary firefighters and staff who go above and beyond to serve our community. They provide all-hazards emergency response, perform life-saving actions each day, and often times provide care and compassion to people on their toughest day,” said Fire Chief David Endaya. “This year’s event was extra special as it was the first time we’ve gathered to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of our team.”
Engineer Eric Craddock received the Firefighter of the Year award for his dedication to fire and rescue training, leading the oversight at the Fire Training grounds, and embodying the highest standards of the fire service.
The Greg Andrews Safety Award, recognizing a continued commitment to ensuring a safer workplace for all, was presented to Firefighter-Paramedic James Kenney.
Kenney devoted hundreds of hours on developing maps for crew responses to several of Ventura’s large complexes. Without these critical maps and level of detail required to design them, lifesaving minutes navigating buildings would be lost.
The Nancy Merman Paramedic of the Year honor was awarded to Engineer Kyle Tong. “Kyle has worked tirelessly on grant opportunities for the department, including a grant where we were able to purchase LUCAS CPR devices for each apparatus,” said Emergency Medical Services Coordinator Heather Ellis. “He has trained every firefighter on this device. His is a true asset to our agency.”
Captain Mark Nielsen and Firefighter-Paramedic William Nackers were both honored for exceptional duty for their ingenuity in providing life-saving service, going above and beyond the call of duty, and upholding the department’s core values.
Finally, Danielle Motherspaw was recognized as the Fire Prevention Employee of the Year. Danielle provides exceptional service with a smile, can be called upon at any time to assist a coworker, and demonstrates pride in producing quality work.
Health and safety restrictions and a shift in priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the annual ceremonies honoring excellent service and the promotions of employees since 2019.
“We are incredibly excited to celebrate Ventura City firefighters, and join the City in honoring their achievements,” said Joe Booth, executive director of the Ventura Fire Foundation. “The past two years have been especially difficult for first responders and their families, so we are eager to have a night of fun.”
For more information about the Ventura Fire Department, visit www.VenturaCityFire.com.