Event Celebrates Dedication to Public Safety and Cooperation Across the Region.
The Tribal Council and citizens of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation celebrated the dedicated service of the firefighters and chief officers of its Yocha Dehe Fire Department (YDFD) and presented annual awards at its Sixth Annual Recognition Luncheon at the Fire Station in Brooks.
As leaders and guests from across the region looked on, Yocha Dehe Tribal Secretary and Fire Commission Chairman James Kinter praised firefighters for their “dedication to the fire service, commitment to the department, and loyalty to the community, the Tribe, and our entire region.”
Yocha Dehe Fire Chief Gary Fredericksen presented this year’s Chuck Garton Leadership Award to Firefighter/Paramedic Norm Alexander for extraordinary leadership and mentoring.
Firefighter/Paramedic Andrew Estrada was named Firefighter of the Year.
The event also featured the oaths and “badge pinnings” of four new YDFD firefighters; the promotion of a ten-year veteran; and the retirement of decorated Assistant Chief Kent Wickstrom.
In remarks, Secretary Kinter noted several YDFD accomplishments this year. Among them were completion of the regional fire training tower; implementation of new emergency preparedness programs; and improvements in techniques and training that are part of YDFD efforts toward retaining its international accreditation.
He also thanked and praised Yocha Dehe’s regional partners in fire and emergency services. “We certainly do not do it alone,” he noted, focusing on the teamwork essential for effective regional public safety. “We are proud to be a partner with other departments in our region through long standing automatic mutual aid agreements. These partnerships allow us to work together to better serve and protect all of our communities. And we grow closer as a team each year as we work and train together.”
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation is an independent, self-governed nation that supports our citizens and the Capay Valley, California community by strengthening our culture, stewarding our land and creating economic independence for future generations. (www.yochadehe.org)
Yocha Dehe Fire Department (YDFD) provides full service fire and life safety response for its local community and beyond. It is the only internationally accredited tribal fire department in the world. The department has 32 uniformed and three administrative employees and a full complement of equipment. In addition to fire suppression and emergency medical services, YDFD performs technical rescues, including swift-water, trench, confined-space, low-angle, vehicle extrication and specialized search and rescue. (www.yochadehe.org/tribal-government/yocha-dehe-fire-department)