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Fire department recognizes service of employees, community members
The Turlock Fire Department named Capt. Kevin Tidwell as the 2018 Firefighter of the Year . - photo by Photo Contributed

The Turlock Fire Department honored and recognized the actions and service of many of its members and community supporters with an awards presentation ceremony on Nov. 1.

“The Turlock Fire Department recognized many individuals for their great contributions made on a daily basis, not only for the Turlock Fire Department but also to the City of Turlock as a whole,” said Turlock Fire Chief Robert Talloni. “Their dedicated public service, passion for making lasting improvements, the innovation and creativity displayed when facing challenges, providing great customer service, and always representing the City of Turlock well were acknowledged and celebrated.”

The ceremony also was an opportunity for the fire department to recognize all the Turlock firefighters who have helped the state of California and beyond with deployments to wildfires. Over the year, Turlock firefighters were deployed to 10 different wildfires. Currently, the department has a battalion chief and firefighters serving on a strike team in the Camp Fire burning in Butte County.

The Turlock Fire Department awarded Tony Nascimento with the 2018 Customer Service of the Year Award. - photo by Photo Contributed

The 2018 Customer Service of the Year Award was presented to Fire Engineer Tony Nascimento. In nominating Nascimento, his fellow firefighters said “Tony’s sense of community is second to none. As a member of the Turlock Fire Department, Random Act of Kindness and the toy program, he takes great pride in the City of Turlock. He is always looking for opportunities to teach young kids about safety, the fire department and how to be a good person. He is a role model for all ages.”

“Tony has a very positive attitude, displays excellent customer service during emergency incidents or when having daily interactions with our customers, peers, partner agencies and residents,” Talloni said. “Tony goes out of his way to meet and exceed all expectations.”

The 2018 Firefighter of the Year Award went to Turlock Fire Capt. Kevin Tidwell. Tidwell serves as the department’s public information officer and designed the Turlock Fire Department’s new live fire burn container structure at the training grounds and has been very involved in the construction phase.

“This burn container structure will allow firefighters of all experience levels (basic to advanced) to benefit from realistic, challenging, and complex trainings to better prepare for all types of emergency situations,” Talloni said. “The ability to perform these trainings locally will enhance the skills of firefighters not just in Turlock but throughout this region to build stronger working relationships with our partner agencies, mutual aid resources, and fire academy students.”

The nomination form submitted for Tidwell states “Kevin is very respected by his coworkers for his ability to take on a project, no matter how large or small to make it a reality within the Turlock Fire Department.”

It was not just firefighters that were honored during the ceremony. Human Resource Manager Sarah Eddy was honored “for her professionalism, assistance, and continual support to the Turlock Fire Department when conducting recruitments throughout the new hiring testing process, during promotional exams, and while providing supervisory trainings,” Talloni said. 

Maintenance Supervisor Ray Garcia from the Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Department also was “recognized for his professionalism, assistance, and continual support to the Turlock Fire Department as we further develop and conduct rescue trainings, trench rescue, backhoe and front-end loader trainings for our Squad 32 personnel,” Talloni said.

Community acknowledgements were made to P&F Metals for their work on designing and fabricating the 9/11 Steel Memorial which is on display at Turlock Fire Station 31. Cost Less Market owner Oscar Avila was thanked by the department for his many years of “community contributions, charitable donations, positive attitude, and ongoing public safety support,” Talloni said.