Arcata Fire Recognizes Top Firefighters
Arcata Fire District personnel, along with their families and guests, attended the annual awards dinner Saturday night in Arcata. Included in the event was recognition of new personnel as well as awards for the Rookie of the Year, Career Firefighter of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and The Archie Bernardi-Fire Officer of the Year.
Jake Cliff was named 2017 Rookie of the Year. This award is given to the individual (career or volunteer) who best exemplifies the characteristics of a new recruit based on incident, ride along, and training participation. Jake started with Arcata Fire District in November of 2016 as part of a FEMA grant. Firefighter Cliff consistently seeks training and education opportunities and is currently working on his Paramedic License. He has taken on numerous extra projects such as the rope bag/SCBA project and he completes his work quickly. Jake is motivated to train and bring new ideas to the team. He recently shared the UL Study information with his Platoon and spent a great deal of time reviewing this new research before sharing it. The UL Study is 745 pages long.
David Haller was recognized as the 2017 Volunteer of the Year. This award began back in 1939, with the first volunteer firefighter of the year going to Jack Hamilton. This is Arcata Fire’s oldest award and is the 78th time it has been bestowed. This award is for a volunteer who best exemplifies the values of our organization. Firefighter Haller strives to uphold the District’s Mission and Vision by giving Every Effort, Every Hour, Every Call. David has gone well beyond the basic requirements of training, ride-alongs, activity, and incident responses in a manner that exemplifies the competency that all volunteers should strive to achieve. David began volunteering with the District in August of 2013, has given over 2,347 hours of service this year and is a full time teacher at Freshwater Elementary School.
Commencing in 2012 Arcata Fire District began recognizing the Employee of the Year. This awards is for a full-time employee who best exemplifies the values of Arcata Fire District. Anthony Benelisha began in 2013 as a volunteer firefighter and was hired full time in September of 2015. Anthony continually goes above and beyond his duties as a Firefighter. Aside from working overtime to help with fires statewide, and maintaining a positive attitude through it all, he also takes on a wide variety of projects to better himself, the District, and the community at large. Anthony firmly believes in the mission, vision, and values of the AFD. He demonstrates putting forth every effort, every hour of the day, and for every call whether he is on or off duty.
Battalion Chief Sean Campbell received The 2017 Archie Bernardi-Fire Officer of the Year award. This award is for a current Fire Captain, Logistics Captain, or Chief Officer who best exemplifies the values of our organization and who represents the characteristics of an officer and of a leader. Battalion Chief Campbell truly is a student of the profession and is constantly seeking new ways to operate. He learns as much as he teaches, and he is always soliciting input on new and better ways to do things. He empowers members at every level to do more, and supports them in their efforts. Chief Campbell holds his personnel accountable and also holds himself accountable, gaining the utmost respect from his team.
According to Fire Chief Justin McDonald, “These four individuals exemplify the best of the fire service. They represent the Arcata Volunteer Firefighter Association, IAFF Local 4981, and Senior Management. They all work together toward the common goal of providing emergency services to the communities of the Fire District.”
The Arcata Fire District provides service to over 37,000 residents in a 62 square mile area including the communities of Arcata, Bayside, McKinleyville, and Manila.