BROOKS, CA (May 2, 2019) – The firefighters of the Yocha Dehe Fire Department (YDFD) and its regional partner agencies were honored today by the Yocha Dehe Tribal Council, the citizens of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and Yolo County community members and leaders at the tenth annual YDFD Awards Luncheon at the Fire Station in Brooks. The event also commemorated YDFD’s 15 years of service since its formation.

In his welcoming remarks, Yocha Dehe Tribal Secretary and Fire Commission Chairman James Kinter commended firefighters across the region for their dedication, professionalism and bravery. And, he noted how consistent cooperation and coordination among local fire agencies are critical in preserving public safety.

“The success of our department is the result of incredible teamwork throughout the county and region,” said Secretary Kinter. “We’re fortunate to have such a dedicated and committed team working together to make Yolo County a better place to live.”

The luncheon included the presentation of YDFD’s annual awards, which are determined by a vote of YDFD firefighters. Yocha Dehe Fire Chief Gary Fredericksen presented the Chuck Garton Leadership Award to Engineer/Paramedic Daniel Etcheverry. Firefighter/Paramedic Charlie Jahelka was named Firefighter of the Year.


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. (

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. (

Written By

Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation