The Turlock Fire Department honored the service and heroics displayed by staff over the last year at their annual awards ceremony Wednesday night, giving out the awards for Firefighter of the Year, the Customer Service Award, Chief Commendations, Department Recognition certificates, and strike team deployment honors.
“You all have stepped up to not only help our community, but the larger community as well,” Turlock Mayor Gary Soiseth said of the fire department’s service over the last year.
The award for Turlock Firefighter of the Year is chosen by the members of the department and this year it was presented to Firefighter Daniel Timko. Timko has 10 years of experience in fire service and joined the Turlock Fire Department in 2011. He is a registered instructor with State Fire Training in California, specializing in auto extraction, forcible entry and commercial vehicle lifting and stabilizing, among other skills. He was recently appointed to Turlock’s newly developed Rescue Squad.
Acting Fire Chief Gary Carlson praised Timko’s advocacy for the department and the community.
“He has set himself apart in our department,” Carlson said.
The fire department’s Customer Service Award was given to Capt. Frank Saldivar, who has spearheaded numerous campaigns to help the community, including the pink T-shirt breast cancer fundraiser, the Random Acts of Kindness program, and the Santa tour.
“He is just the epitome of what everyone strives for in customer service at the department, Carlson said.
“If we wanted to just clock in and do our shift and go home, we wouldn't be in the fire service,” Saldivar said. “The service to our community is what this job is all about.”
Turlock Fire Marshal Mark Gomez handed out the Chief Commendations to those individuals whose ongoing training have made sure that the department “has the right tools in our toolbox when we need them.” Those presented with the certificate were: Capt. David Mallory, Firefighter Steven Kramer, Capt. Kevin Forsythe and Firefighter Justin Rossiter.
Department recognition certificates were given to: Isaiah Quinonez, Michael McColley from E-Tow, Phillip Madruga, and Kathryn Mild.
Over the year several fire personnel were deployed to fires and other emergencies around the state and country, including the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The individuals presented with stars representing their strike team deployments were: Capt. Andrew Quimby, Eng. Cameron Kaiser, Firefighter Justin Rossiter, Firefighter Cold Gold, Cap. Shaun Walker, Eng. Jared Alvord, Firefighter Scott Sousa, Capt. Kevin Forsythe, Battalion Chief Bill Becker, Eng. Dale Melden, Eng. Tony Nascimento, and Capt. Kain Packwood. Packwood serves as a medical unit leader on federal deployments and was called out five times, including 23 days in Puerto Rico.