The UCSC Fire Department recognized it's two newest Fire Captains at a badge pinning ceremony today held at the campus Fire Station. Fire Chief Jeff Trapp welcomed new Captains Ron Esche and Johnny Fox before their new badges were pinned on by their wives. Retired Fire Captains Don Brookes and Tim Batinovich then removed their own collar bugles and pinned them onto the new captains' collars, symbolically passing their command authority on to their successors.
Captain Ron Esche has served with the UCSC Fire Department for 13 years, most recently holding the rank of Engineer. He is one of the department's Hazardous Materials Technicians and also one of the department's Paramedics. Ron was personally responsible for the implementation of the the Paramedic program at UCSC, spending countless hours in meetings, planning sessions and training with representatives from the County EMS Agency, the EMS Integration Authorty and others. He also oversaw the training and accreditation of the department's initial Paramedics in 2011 and continues to coordinate EMS training for both Paramedics and EMTs on the department, as well as overseeing the department's medical exam program for staff. Ron will serve as the new Captain for C-Shift.
Captain Johnny Fox has served with the UCSC Fire Department for 6 years, most recently holding the rank of Firefighter. He briefly left UCSC in 2010 to work for the Seattle Fire Department (where he was assigned to a truck company in downtown Seattle) before returning to campus. Johnny has worked with the campus Wayfinding Committee for the past several years and is responsible for developing the street numbering system which will be implemented to provide physical addresses for all campus buildings this summer (prior to this, all of the UCSC campus has had a single street address). Johnny has also worked extensively to update the department's pre-plans and mapping for campus buildings. Johnny will serve as the new Captain for A-Shift.
The Department also recognized two students who have worked closely with the Fire Department for the past two years. Soraya Danesh came to the department as a Chancellors Undergraduate Internship Program (CUIP) Intern for the 2011/2012 academic year to work on the department's public education program, particularly in regards to student outreach. As part of this project, Soraya spearheaded the development of the Ready Slug video program. Soraya was hired back for the 2012/13 academic year as a work study Public Education Assistant to continue the work she started as an intern. Soraya graduated earlier this month with dual bachelors degrees in Psychology and Economics and is awaiting word on whether she's been accepted to the Master of Public Health program at the University of Southern California. Vanessa Gonzalez - a Film and Digital Media student - also worked closely with Soraya and the department on the Ready Slug video program and other video projects as both a video editor and cinematographer. She will be graduating following completion of one more quarter.