Members of the San Marcos Fire Department were recognized for their tireless efforts at the annual San Marcos Fire Department Award Ceremony March 31 at the San Marcos Activity Center.
Mayor John Thomaides said the fire department responded to over 5,200 calls last year.
More than 75 awards were presented at the ceremony. Chief Les Stephens said it’s important to show appreciation for the hard work individuals in the department put forth .
“These men and women do some really outstanding work and really courageous work in our community throughout the course of the year, and it’s just another day at the office for them but to have an opportunity to recognize them and to show our appreciation is the best part,” Stephens said.
Five promotion awards, certificates of appreciation, attendance awards, years of service awards and a few distinguished honors were presented.
Battalion Chief John Koenig was voted the Officer of the Year by the rest of the department.
“Just knowing that I’m doing a good enough job for them to vote for me as Officer of the Year is a huge honor,” Koenig said. “I appreciate the honor they bestowed upon me.”
The Firefighter of the Year award was presented to Engineer Kevin Holmes.
This ceremony is to honor the individuals in the department who go above and beyond for the community, and don’t get much recognition.
“We’ve had instances of people giving rides to folks whose cars broke down, so stuff you never see in these (ceremonies), and the least we can do is acknowledge what they do on the job,” said Assistant Chief Rick Rowell.
Captain Frank Arredondo, Captain Michael Orichuela, Firefighter John Craft, Firefighter David Tomas and Battalion Chief Jeff Clark all received Medals of Valor—the highest decoration for bravery.
“On behalf of myself, the community and the council, we really do appreciate the work they do and the dedication and their selfless service,” Stephens said. “It’s just an outstanding group, and I’m honored to be a part of it.”