The Yocha Dehe Fire Department (YDFD) recognized key individuals for their commitment to public safety and protection of the community at its annual awards luncheon at the fire station in Brooks last week.

Firefighter/Paramedic John Enea was awarded Firefighter of the Year. The Chuck Garton Leadership Award was presented to Firefighter Steve Bristow. The Cache Creek Casino Resort Security Office Lifesaving Award was shared by Harpreet Dhami, Mario Fabiani, Steven Noeldner, Ryan Browning, Gilardo Caballero, and David Brearley. And a special tribute was given to Paula Lorenzo-Tackett, who nearly ten years ago had the vision and commitment to build the Yocha Dehe Fire Department into a model agency for the community and other Tribal Nations across the country. Enea began his fire service career in 1997 as a volunteer firefighter cadet with the Woodside Fire District and is known for his dedication to mentoring upcoming firefighter paramedics. Bristow, one of the first hires by YDFD in 2004, was nominated by his peers for his dedication to ongoing training and his work reviewing Paramedic protocols for the newly formed Yolo County EMS Agency.

Paula Lorenzo-Tackett, was recognized for her vision in leading the development of YDFD as well as her ongoing dedication to its advancement. Lorenzo-Tackett was Chairperson of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation when the department was created and has served as the Fire Commission Vice Chair as it has grown into the internationally accredited community service it is today.

James Kinter, Yocha Dehe Tribal Secretary and Fire Commission Chairman, highlighted some of the many achievements of YDFD since its founding in 2004:

  • Partnering with the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office in a new arson task force. YDFD and five other agencies jointly investigate suspected arson fires within the County
  • As the only Advance Life Support Agency in Yolo County, YDFD led the fire agencies in the Yolo County Medical Services Study for the creation of a new EMS agency
  • Covered five fires in six counties over a 35 day period as a member of the Yolo County Strike Team and assisted the California Department of Forestry on a 19,000 acre blaze which also impacted the nearby Cortina Band of Wintun Indians.

“We have accomplished our goals through the persistent hard work and enduring dedication of our community partners, who share in our vision to make the Capay Valley a safe and desirable place to live,” Kinter said. “While we have reached major milestones, we have more to accomplish as our community continues to grow and diversify, and as public safety delivery systems and technologies continue to develop.”

Learn more about Yocha Dehe Fire Department.

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Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation