Firefighters stabbed in the line of duty receive award

Shining a spotlight on those who go above and beyond, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department honored the extraordinary measures firefighters, paramedics, lifeguards and even civilians went through, to save the lives of others.

“The employees you’ll meet today stand out among their peers,” said San Diego Fire Chief Javier Mainar. “Some for actions they took on a particular day, some for actions they take day in and day out.


The 2015 Service Awards Honoree Luncheon on October 23rd at the Sheraton Harbor Island, was hosted by the San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation and MC’d by NBC 7 Anchor Catherine Garcia.

“There are also civilians who went above and beyond in terms of saving lives and providing service,” said Assistant Fire Chief Brian Fennessey.

Honorees included Firefighter Alex Wallbrett, who received the Medal of Valor for running toward a knife-wielding man attacking another firefighter and former San Diego City Council Member Jim Madaffer and his wife Robin who received Lifesaving Citations for coming to the aid of a man found lying on a Tierrasanta sidewalk. In all, 26 honors were handed out.

The 2015 Service Award Honorees:


Firefighter of the Year – Marcelo De Casas, Firefighter III


Exceptional Performance Citation (Unit) La Jolla Shores/La Jolla Rocks/BSU/Air Ops

Rich Stropky, Lifeguard Lieutenant

Richard Romero, Lifeguard Sergeant

Marcus Schreiber, Lifeguard Sergeant

Johna Bahl, Lifeguard III

Juan Gonzalez, Lifeguard II

Bruce Jamieson, Lifeguard II

John Kerr, Lifeguard II

Ashley Marino, Lifeguard II

Brian Zeller, Lifeguard II

Dustin Fiero, Lifeguard I

Shayne McIntyre, Lifeguard I

Chris Rinder, Lifeguard I

Kyle Scarry, Lifeguard I

Tarrant Seautelle, Lifeguard I

Michael Smoker, Lifeguard I

Lyle Ledoux, Pilot

Timothy O’Malley, Captain

Barry Links, Firefighter II/Paramedic


Heroism Award (Unit Award) La Jolla Lifeguard Crew/Air Ops

Ben Lewis, Lifeguard Sergeant

Chad Carter, Lifeguard II

John Kerr, Lifeguard II

Todd Rice, Lifeguard II

Kolo Rosenthal-Green, Lifeguard II

Aaron Estess, Lifeguard I

Gabriel Liberman, Lifeguard I

Shayne McIntyre, Lifeguard I

Kyle Scarry, Lifeguard I

Tarrant Seautelle, Lifeguard I

Lyle Ledoux, Pilot

William Alton, Captain

Steven Vandewalle, Firefighter/Paramedic


Lifesaving Citation (Unit Award) Boating Safety Unit

Chuck Davey, Lifeguard III

Jeff Jordan, Lifeguard II

Peter Liebig, Lifeguard II


Certificate of Appreciation – Andrew Thorpe


Certificate of Appreciation

Jonathan Flike

Jacob Petty


Exceptional Performance Citation (Unit Award) Lifeguards Windansea Crew

Adam Larkin, Lifeguard II

John Maher, Lifeguard I

Adam Montgomery, Lifeguard I

Matthew Rodgers, Lifeguard I

Trevor Wageman, Lifeguard I

Lifeguard I of the Year – John Maher, Lifeguard I


Lifeguard III of the Year – Richard Haynes, Lifeguard III


Certificate of Appreciation

Merkel & Associates

Anthony Rodgers, ORCA Maritime & Ocean Server


Exceptional Performance Citation

Rick Strobel, Lifeguard Sergeant

David Lee, Engineer

Steve Vandwalle, Firefighter II/Paramedic

Brian Varner, Paramedic

EMT of the Year – William D. Moore

Paramedic of the Year – Craig Tenma

Certificate of Appreciation

Brook Anarde

Charles Evan-Claasen

Esteban Bahena Memorial Scholarship Fund

Charles Brookes

Ben Harris

Steven F. Holladay Memorial Award – William Waugaman, Engineer/Paramedic


Lifesaving Citation – Robin and Jim Madaffer


Lifesaving Citation

Dominc Collins

Ricardo Fierro

Michael Munoz

Ruban Niebla

Noemi Ruelas

Pablo Sace

Carlos Sanchez

Josh Sotelo


Certificate of Appreciation – Trevor Anders


Lifesaving Citation

Manuel Reade

Kathy Stesney


Certificate of Appreciation – Ryan Vidal


Robert Ely Memorial Award – Kevin Pendleton, Firefighter III


Civilian of the Year – Phyllis Bailey


Exceptional Performance Citation (Unit Award) FRS Personnel from 7/1/15 – 6/30/15

Chad Allison, Captain

Jason Hewitt, Captain/Paramedic

Kevin Melanson, Firefighter III/Paramedic

Joshua Miramontez, Firefighter III/Paramedic


Exceptional Performance Citation (Unit Award) Engine 4/C

Steven Michaels, Captain

Charles West, Engineer

Benjamin Vernon, Firefighter III/Paramedic

Alexander Wallbrett, Firefighter III


Medal of Honor – Alexander Wallbrett, Firefighter III