HEBER — As the Imperial County Fire Department prepared to promote and honor new recruits Friday, the Heber station was filled with families and friends who came out to celebrate the pinning of badges on their loved ones.
Fire Chief Tony Rouhotas, Jr. took to the podium to present the badges to his new force and called each reserve firefighter to the front to be introduced to the audience along with announcing the newly-appointed positions.
These new firefighters will assist the Imperial County Fire Department in local arsons, accidental fires, emergencies, and natural disasters.
First to receive the promotion was Marysol Espinoza, who has completed the Imperial Valley College firefighting course, along with an EMT course. Also recognized were Jonathan Green, Isaiah Val, Ricardo Vargas, and Nicolas Rivera, all personnel who were appointed badges for their new positions as reserve firefighters.
Following the honoring of reserve firefighters, Chief Rouhotas recognized Mark Schmidt who took a place at the front of the stage as his newly-appointed position of Emergency Communications Project Coordinator was announced.
Rouhotas then began introducing the personnel who were hired to become the next generation of firefighters for the Heber department.
They included Max Ongay, who was pinned by his father, Max Sr. Ongay was the only firefighter promoted who has completed the paramedic course at IVC. Next was Spencer Drury, who was pinned by his mother, Teresa, and then Marco Rojas was presented with his firefighter badge by his mother, Patricia. New firefighter Brendon Wolfe chose to have his wife, Emily, greet him in the front to pin on his badge.
The final promotion for the evening was given to Steven Monreal, who was promoted to fire captain, and he designated his mother, Carmen, to pin on his new badge.
“All of the firefighters chosen today have completed their firefighting course, and are well-prepared to be inducted into this Imperial County Fire Department where we will grow as a family and team,” said Chief Rouhotas.