Monday, February 1, 2010

2009 Hillsboro Fire Department Awards

Ten Hillsboro Fire and Rescue firefighters and staff received recognition for their outstanding contributions to the Department’s mission Friday afternoon, January 29th, at a ceremony at the Hillsboro Civic Center.

“I am extremely proud of the firefighters and staff here,” said Fire Chief Gary Seidel said in making the presentations. “They give their best on and off duty.

From 2009 Awards Ceremony

Firefighter Luis Mota received a Distinguished Service Award for his actions in saving the life of a restaurant patron in Salem. Mota was off duty and dining in another part of the restaurant when an elderly patron confined to a wheelchair began choking on food. Wait staff initially attempted to assit the man, then asked for help. Mota pulled the man from his wheelchair and began the Heimlich maneuver. The food remained stuck in the patient’s airway and the man fell unconscious. Mota then began Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation chest compressions according to his training. The persistent Mota kept up the compressions until the food dislodged. Salem Firefighters arrived and transported the man to a local hospital where he arrived conscious and talking to his responders. In addition to the Fire Department award, representatives from Liberty Mutual Insurance Company presented Mota with their Firemark Award. Liberty Mutual representative Ward Klicke said the Firemark Award honors the valor and selfless spirit of firefighters who keep our communities safe.

From 2009 Awards Ceremony

A Distinguished Service Award went to Firefighter Tim Eiden. A second-generation firefighter, Eiden was off duty one evening and was leaving his sister’s home when he noticed an apartment building nearby was on fire. He instructed a companion to call 9-1-1, grabbed a fire extinguisher, and extinguished the fire before fellow firefighters arrived, thereby saving the structure and possibly the lives of the tenants inside who were unaware of the fire on the exterior of the building.

Two other top awards were the Career and Volunteer Firefighter of the Year. The two recipients were selected by their peers for their unfailing contributions to the Department. Chaplain Steve Brodehl was selected as Firefighter of the Year and Lieutenant David Sellers was selected the Volunteer Firefighter of the Year. Brodehl also picked up the Distinguished Service Award for his unfailing dedication and devotion to the citizens of Hillsboro. Chaplain Brodehl responds to all fire and emergency medical calls when citizen’s emotions are shattered by what is most likely the worst day of their life. He provides compassion and counsel to help the citizen find emotional stability during a chaotic time.

From 2009 Awards Ceremony

Lieutenant Sellers was picked for Volunteer Firefighter of the Year for his regular dedication to helping train new and promoting volunteer firefighters. Sellers, a local insurance representative, also dons his firefighting gear when called and responds to all types of incidents, shares his experience with younger volunteer colleagues and spends time at community events talking to children about fire safety.

The Chief’s Award is utilized to recognize single acts of merit or service, an increase in efficiency or effectiveness in a non-emergency function. Chief Seidel bestowed that award on Mary Bradley, the Department’s Management Analyst. She was cited for her instrumental role in the Department’s accreditation process, her leadership of the Department’s employee time management program called TELESTAFF, and for her day-to-day management of the Departments statistical databases.

From 2009 Awards Ceremony

Fire Chief Gary Seidel also bestowed the Chief’s Coin of Excellence on the following personnel:

Retired Administrative Chief Dennis Ross was recognized for his leadership and work on managing the Department’s application for accreditation by the Commission on Public Safety Excellence. Ross was also cited for his role as Planning Section Chief on the Office of State Fire Marshal’s Red Incident Management Team.

Retired Special Operations and EMS Chief Don Schallberger was recognized for his work in with the Oregon Urban Search and Rescue teams and for his contributions to obtaining grants from the Urban Area Security Initiative that benefit fire departments in Washington County. He was also cited for his assistance in training Hillsboro Emergency Operations Center staff.

Firefighter Shane Rice was recognized for his dedication and leadership in training new volunteer firefighters. Firefighter Rice has devoted many hours of time to help build volunteer firefighters’ skills.

Firefighter Ben Tanner was recognized for his contributions to the Pre-Plan Program. Firefighter Tanner spends countless hours outside of his regular duties in drawing and preparing plans of commercial buildings and properties so that firefighters have accurate and detailed drawings of those properties available to them before they arrive at a fire or medical emergency. This allows them to locate a patient, water hydrant and sprinkler controls more quickly or plan their tactics and deploy crews much more efficiently.

Firefighter Alia Jennings was recognized for her leadership and coordination of the Toy and Joy Program. Each year Firefighter Jennings plans and executes the off-duty efforts of firefighters, operating under the Random Acts Program, to collect new, unwrapped toys for needy children. She works tirelessly with her colleagues and with outside organizations to ensure toys and food are delivered to Hillsboro’s neediest families.

For fire and life safety information, visit: or call 503-681-6166.

1 comment:

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