Friends and family members gathered at Fire Station No. 21 on Thursday as the Glendale Fire Department promoted several of its own and welcomed new faces to the agency during a special badge-pinning ceremony.
Interim Fire Chief Silvio Lanzas presided over the event, where he helped swear in the incoming group into their new roles.
Anastasia Alexander, Jeffrey Creiman and Korin Peltier will join the Verdugo Fire Communications Center as operators, where they are “the first link of survival in our 911 system,” Lanzas said.
“[Operators] go through extensive training programs to achieve full call-taker and radio qualification. In most cases, this can take up to a year,” he said. “These individuals … reached full qualification in about four months.”
Luis Manjarrez joined the department’s emergency medical services division as an ambulance operator/coordinator, where he will help hire, train and oversee Glendale Fire’s EMTs.
Lanzas said the department responded to more than 19,000 emergencies last year, and many of those were “related to EMS and where at least one ambulance responded.”
Nicholas Diaz, Spencer Hammond, Jason Pickard and Hector Sosa were promoted to firefighter/paramedics after undergoing a 14-week training program as recruits. Lanzas said each of the recruits exceeded every requirement in earning their badges.
Receiving a promotion to fire captain was Kellen McLaughlin, who joined the department 15 years ago as a cadet. He said he was honored and privileged to be given the opportunity to “lead great individuals and to do great things in the city and for the community.”
He added, “Coming here 15 years ago … I had the honor of working with some great individuals, and I think it’s the strength of this department.”
Also joining the department was Thelma Salaya Olin, who was brought on as a public-safety business assistant.