HEBER – The Imperial County Fire Department held a promotion ceremony for new firefighters, captains, and battalion chiefs at the Heber fire station Friday evening.
Attending the event were the families of the recipients and fellow firefighters, along with Imperial County Supervisors Ryan Kelly and Raymond Castillo.
Tony Rouhotas Jr., Imperial County Fire Chief and Office of Emergency Services Coordinator, presented badges and helmets to two firefighters, three fire captains, and three battalion chiefs, which is a new position for the department.
“Tonight’s promotions represent a new generation of personnel, a new era of leadership, and a new level of commitment to this department,” said Rouhotas. “The new firefighters will bring new ideas and great energy and the new captains will bring new leadership skills and lead their firefighters to success. The battalion chiefs are a new shift position that will assist in bringing the agency to new heights.”
Imperial County Supervisor Ryan Kelley, a former firefighter with Imperial County, commented on the promotions.
“This department was small back when I was in the academy with Chief Rouhotas in 1992,” said Kelley. “The department now has eight stations in the county. This department has grown significantly in the last year with the addition of Niland and Winterhaven. That’s the right thing to do, and I know that these firefighters provide the best service possible. It’s a great honor to be here for this ceremony.”
Raul Castro and Jesse Ruiz received their promotions to firefighter status while Boby Duenas, Jr., Hector Garcia, and Justin Sanchez were promoted to captain.
The new battalion chiefs are Salvador Flores, Angel Morales, and Edward D. Stauf.
“You are receiving your helmets and badges that signify more than your rank,” said Rouhotas during the ceremony. “They introduce you as a professional, a first responder, a community leader, a problem solver, and a representative of this department that will strive for success. I know that you will serve this county well and do so with professionalism, compassion, determination, and confidence, but you will also incorporate humility and humbleness into our team.”[envira-gallery id=”83052″]