El Centro City council members honor firefighters

El Centro City Council members honor firefighters during its regular meeting and designated October 3-9, 2021 as National Fire Prevention Week for the Fire Department Tuesday, Oct. 5.

EL CENTRO — El Centro City Council members presented plaques to two city departments in recognition for their services at its regular meeting Tuesday, Oct. 5, at City Hall. 

The Customer Service Division and the Fire Departments were each presented with a plaque, a recognition week, and a photo opportunity with council members. 

In their honor, October 4-8, 2021, was designated as Customer Service Appreciation Week for the Customer Service Division. 

The week, October 3-9, 2021, was designated as National Fire Prevention Week for the Fire Department. 

“You are the city government, and you are the face of the city,” Mayor Pro-tem Tomás Oliva told Nena Herbert, customer service supervisor with the Finance Department, as she stood at the podium facing the council. 

“Customer service makes or breaks the company. We want to remind the public that kindness and respect matters,” said Mayor Cheryl Viegas-Walker. 

“It is an honor to receive the recognition from the city council. I feel proud for my team,” said Herbert. 

According to Herbert, her team of five members helps customers by processing their building permits, water and utility bills, building, planning, and engineering permits, or any other bills for services the city provides.  

About 12 firefighters from the three fire stations were at the council meeting. They were from Station #1 on 8th Street, Station #2 on Dogwood Road, and Station #3 on North Waterman Avenue. 

“I thank you and your families for supporting you and your careers to keep our society safe,” Mayor Viegas-Walker told Cedric Ceseña, interim Fire Chief of the El Centro Fire Department, as Ceseña stood at the podium. 

Oliva recalled a time when he ‘shadowed’ a firefighter as he worked. “I got to see the underbelly of our society. You run towards danger.” 

“Part of our job is fire prevention,” said Ceseña. According to Ceseña, firefighters remind residents and business owners to check the batteries of their fire alarms or smoke detectors at least once or twice a year. Old batteries should be replaced with fresh batteries. Furthermore, he encourages residents to practice their evacuation plans.

Because of the COVID-19 lockdown, tours of the fire stations were suspended for the time being and will resume once cleared, according to Ceseña. 

“Thank you for the recognition,” said Ceseña. 

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