On Thursday, April 28, at 4 p.m., the Sparks Fire Department hosted its 21st Annual Commendation Award Ceremony at Sparks Fire Department’s Headquarters Station, 1605 Victorian Ave. The ceremony is held to recognize outstanding actions and performances by fire department employees, local citizens, and businesses during the past year. Friends and family members, as well as the public, are encouraged to attend.
Firefighter Rich Armstrong is the department’s “Firefighter of the Year” and was awarded the “Firefighter of the Year” plaque, a Commendation Bar, and Certificate at the ceremony. Firefighter Mike Shaw is the department’s “Employee of the Year” and was awarded the “Employee of the Year” plaque, a Commendation Bar and Certificate.
Two employees, Fire Apparatus Operator Ed Weller and Firefighter Nick Corona, received Commendation Bars and Certificates for their outstanding efforts during a mutual aid response to the Butte Fire in Northern California, which resulted in their company’s successful protection of several homes in the area from the rapidly advancing wildfire.
One citizen, Gary Marks, received the Citizen Service Medal and Certificate for his actions during a vehicle accident on Sept. 25. At the time of the accident he was across the street and ran to assist. Seeing a pedestrian underneath the vehicle, he obtained the vehicle’s jack, placed it behind the front tire on the driver’s side, and lifted the weight of the vehicle off the victim underneath. The Sparks Fire Department believes that his spontaneous and rapid actions resulted in saving the life of the pedestrian.
Three citizens, Ivan Agular, Lance Smith, and Justin Anderson, received Citizen Commendation Certificates. Agular aided an individual who had been run over by a vehicle. Mr. Smith and Mr. Anderson assisted during a structure fire, helping to keep the fire involving an ignited propane tank from spreading to the structure.
Three City of Sparks employees – Brandon Miles, David Bresee and Mark Reynolds – will receive the City Employee Distinguished Service Ribbon and Certificate for rendering aid to a bicyclist who had sustained a severe lower leg laceration. They administered first aid and transported him down from the foothill area in which he was injured to a location easily accessed by REMSA.