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Oxnard Fire holds 2013 Graduation and Promotion Ceremony

Oxnard Fire Chief James Williams administers the oath. (Photo Credit: Robert Jeffreys)

The Police Activities League (PAL) Gymnasium, located at 350 South “K” Street, was packed to the rafters with family, friends and city leaders, as the largest class of firefighters graduated and took the Firefighter Oath of Office. On Friday, December 6, 2013, the following new 16 recruits were sworn in by Fire Chief James Williams: Firefighter Elias Barnes, 63C; Firefighter Andrew Behrens, E64A; Firefighter Tyler Cederlind, E66A; Firefighter Charles Chatton, E67B; Firefighter Colby Cochrane, 67C; Firefighter Adam Cohen, 66C; Firefighter Bradley Craig, E65B; Firefighter Fernando Diaz, E65A; Firefighter Marshall Dvorin, E63B; Firefighter Kevin Gilson, 65C; Firefighter Corey Murphy, 64C; Firefighter Patrick O’Leary, 61C; Firefighter Angel Orantes, Jr., E64B; Firefighter Tenoa Stevenson II, E67A; Firefighter Kevin Todd, E61B; and Firefighter Francisco Ureno, E62B.

During the ceremony, Fire Chief James Williams told recruits, “You might see things that may not be pleasant. Just remember that you are here to provide the highest level of service in the most efficient and effective means possible, to all Oxnard residents.”

“We look for you to respond quickly to ensure personal safety as we deliver this service. With the holiday season upon us, we want to make sure the residents of Oxnard are safe and they are vigilant toward fire safety.”

The program requires 16 weeks of firefighter training. Kevin Schroepfer, Training Chief, Oxnard Fire Department, said, “During the Recruit Academy the focus is on teaching the recruits basic firefighting skills.”

“As the probationary firefighter is assigned to a given station, they learn that station’s area. They learn where senior citizens live and other hazards in that area.”

“For educating the public they learn by doing public education talks. Some recruits taught sidewalk CPR on a Saturday at the Oxnard Tamale Festival.”

Recruits were provided the highest quality of training, instruction and evaluation by: Captains Tim Spence and Nick Strouse; Engineers Uriel Estrada and Greg Payne; and Firefighters Casey Belmonte, Graham Dunbar and Phil Palmer. The training division’s goal is to provide valuable training before a firefighter is presented with the many different types of emergency and non-emergency calls for service.

Oxnard was awarded two federal grants in 2011 and 2012 to increase daily staffing within the Oxnard Fire Department. Eventually these firefighters will be used to staff the new Fire Station 8 located on the corner of Channel Islands Boulevard and Rose Avenue in South Oxnard.

A highlight of the ceremony was recognizing Battalion Chief Sergio Martinez, who was appointed city fire marshal two months ago.

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