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May 19, 2019
Firefighter of the Year



                                          Engineer Olga Herrera

                                 2011 FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR

In recognition of many years of service, commitment, and dedication to the Santa Barbara City Firefighters Association. Olga continues to be a model for what it means to be Firefighter of the Year.



Firefighter of the Year 2010

Engineer Jeff Zampese

Jeff Zampese has been with Santa Barbara City Fire since March 12, 2001, he was promoted to Fire Engineer January of 2008. Jeff has been a member of the Charity Committee since 2004, actively involved in all aspects of fund raising. Jeff has shown exemplary leadership in getting several different projects up and running for the benefit of the association. When any one person was in a pinch for support Jeff was there to get it done. His consistent no-nonsense approach to problem solving has led to a high standard for the charity volunteers.

Jeff was instrumental in the development of the Golf Tourney and has worked diligently to achieve an event that raises the greatest amount of money annually for the charity. His efforts have made the event the best event throughout the year. Every year he brings in fresh ideas and new volunteers building upon the successes of years previous.

The Santa Barbara City Firefighters are proud of Jeff’s accomplishments and want to extend a great debt of gratitude to him and his amazing wife Kristen whom also has been a tremendous asset to the charity. Thank you and continue the hard work.


                                          2009 Firefighter of the Year

        Kathy Judy, left, recently donated one of her kidneys to Santa Barbara City Fire Capt. Heidi Rockenbach, who she knew from high school. Engineer Dave Ward, right, received the Santa Barbara City Firefighter of the Year Award for his support of Rockenbach and for being the “kidney liaison” during the donation process.

Moses Romo and David Berkovich

2008 Firefighters of the Year

Firefighter Moses Romo

Santa Barbara City Firefighters Local 525 would like to recognize Firefighter Moses Romo as a recipient of 2008 Firefighter of the year. Moses was chosen by his peers for his outstanding commitment to the department and association. Firefighter Romo was hired on April 17th 2006 and since has continually made him self available to the needs of our organization.
During the 2008 Recruit Firefighter Academy he spent several hours a week as Liaison for the Academy Class guiding them through the training process. This position is essential for providing the recruits with additional advice for success as well as making sure they stay on track with department requirements. Moses provided an excellent example of professionalism and pride in the department and career for the new firefighters.
During Fiesta 2008 Moses assisted the organization of the Association’s Fiesta Food Booth at MacKenzie Park. His efforts towards this event proved to be instrumental in its success. The Fiesta Booth is our second largest fundraiser during the year which annually yields around $5,000 for charities.
We would also like to extend our thanks to Sarah Romo for her patience and permission for Moses to participate in these events. Moses and Sarah have been married for 2 years and reside in Carpinteria.
Moses wanted to extend his great appreciation and gratitude to all other firefighters and family members who participated in the Fiesta Food Booth for without out there tremendous efforts there would be not successful.
                       Firefighter David Berkovich 


The Santa Barbara City Firefighters Local 525 would like to recognize Firefighter David Berkovich as a recipient of 2008 Firefighter of the Year. David was chosen by his peers for his ongoing commitment and energy towards the Association and Department.
David was hired in January 2005 and has been involved in several different department events as well as Association events.
            Most recently David was one of the key organizers for the Fiesta Food Booth at MacKenzie Park. The Food Booth is our second largest fundraiser of the year and yields about $5,000 a year. This event involves heavy participation from the membership and families for success. David’s energy and strong desire for success helped to encourage others to participate.
            During the 2008 Annual Golf Classic David once again showed his commitment to our organization by coordinating all event setup and break down. He made himself and his volunteers available to any needs of Golf Tourney chairpersons making the day flawless.

            David would like to thank all those volunteers who assisted which have made these events so successful.

Anthony Pighetti                        Matt Wilson

2007 Firefighters of the Year

Anthony Pighetti

Santa Barbara City Fire Local 525 would like to congratulate Engineer Tony Pighetti for being voted by his peers for the 2007 Firefighter of The Year. Tony has been with the department since April 23, 1990 and was promoted to engineer in 1999 where he is now assigned to Station 1 as the Truck Engineer. He has helped train ventilation to recruit academies for the past fifteen years as well as truck operations to other departmental members. In 2006 Tony was voted trainer of the year for the Tri-Counties and has kept up the hard work.
Engineer Pighetti was the lead negotiator on our last contract and spent many hours away from his family and friends working with city counsel and the negotiation committee to make the negotiations move as smooth as possible with the best outcome as possible. Tony’s biggest accomplishment for the negotiations was having the city counsel agree on a sixteen city comparison list. Having an agreed upon list to be compared to before starting negotiations helped the process tremendously and will also help with future negotiations. Tony spent approximately two years on preparing for and accomplishing negotiations.
Tony would like to thank his negotiating team as well as many other members that stepped up to help him with negotiations and various training assignments. Tony would like to accept this award as a representative of the entire team effort that took place to accomplish such a successful contract. Tony also has a special thanks to his chief negotiator, his wife Andrea, whom he says knows our contract better then most the people on the department and spent multiple hours helping Tony prep and formulate game plans for negotiations.
We would also like to take this time to recognize his wife, Andrea, two sons, Josh and Jake and daughter Paige for their sacrifice in allowing Tony to devote so much extra time to the association. Without their support he would not be getting this prestigious award. Thank you



                                 Matt Wilson

Santa Barbara City Fire Local 525 would like to congratulate Engineer Matt Wilson for being voted by his peers for the 2007 Firefighter of The Year. Matt has just recently been promoted to engineer and has been with the department since March 12, 2001. He has always been a very active member in the association and was one of the co-founders of the annual Santa Barbara City Firefighters’ Charity Golf Tournament five years ago. When Matt helped start the golf tournament he also helped set up the charity account, which supplies the funds for all of our local charities that we support. Matt has helped organize events like the Navy softball games and dinner, Fiesta Parade, and Santa Barbara Golf tournament that has raised approximately $35,000 in the past two years and $70,000 since its conception.
We would also like to take this time to recognize his wife, Tracy, and two sons, Luke and Dylan for their dedication and sacrifice in allowing Matt to devote so much extra time to the association. Without their support Matt would not be getting this prestigious award. Thank you.
Matt would like to thank all of the people that have helped him with the events he has been involved with, especially those that have helped with the annual golf tournament. He wanted to make sure that people knew that he is taking this award as a representative of everyone’s hard work.



Firefighter of the Year

Engineer Brian Walsh is the recipient of the 2006 Local 525 Firefighter of The Year.  Brian is currently assigned to station 2 on Engine 2 and Haz Mat 1. Brian is the immediate past Union President.  He had been the President for two years.  During his tenure, the Union accomplished several goals.  Some of these include:  participation in the selection of the new fire chief, creation of this website and initiation of the trial period for 48-96.  Additionally, Brian provided the constant reminder that we have a wonderful job in a spectacular City and under his tenure we remained focused on improving the fire department and the role firefighters play in the community.

Congratulations to Brian Walsh.

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Fire Engineer Jack Franklin is the recipient of the Union’s 2005 Firefighter of the Year Award.  Engineer Franklin is a 10-year veteran of the department.  He joined the Department in 1995 and was promoted to Engineer in 2002.  A former ambulance paramedic, Franklin has served as an instructor with our department in all recruit academies since he was hired. 

 In addition, Engineer Franklin, a general contractor has overseen and participated in several major projects at fire stations and our drill tower.  He has overseen the remodeling of two stations this year and he re-designed the newly completed rope rescue and roof prop, rescue confidence course and forcible entry props.

 Engineer Franklin is well-known on the department for his ability to fix and repair anything.  Simply put, he is our “go to guy” for any project with his ability to complete the task or refer it to the proper City agency for prompt attention.

  It is with great pride that we award the 2005 Firefighter of the Year Award to Jack Franklin.  Thank you for always helping the Union and Fire Department and making the workplace better.

























Page Last Updated: Jan 03, 2012 (09:41:40)
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