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Folsom FD hosts grand celebration

By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
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The Folsom Fire Department hosted a grand celebration Monday, Sept. 10, not only with the ribbon cutting for the Fire Station 39 grand opening, but with promotions, new hires and a retirement.

The morning event started off with the grand opening ceremony for Folsom’s newest state-of-the-art Fire Station 39, which is strategically located in the Empire Ranch area to help reduce response times.

“The Fire Station 39 Grand Opening Ceremony was a historic event for the City of Folsom Fire Department,” said Folsom Fire Chief Felipe Rodriguez. “Our department has proudly served the Folsom community since 1857, and it was time to open another fire station. Much great work went into opening our fifth fire station, with careful planning and responsible saving to ensure its success.”

Planning of the new station began many years ago, but with the economic downturn, thing were put on hold. Plans were back on track this time last year when the city held a ground breaking ceremony to commence construction.

“The opening of Fire Station 39 in the Empire Ranch area will greatly assist with reducing response times for an area that has a high fire-hazard zone rating in accordance with local hazard mitigation plans,” Rodriguez said. “The fire station will house a Type I Fire Engine, for all emergencies, and a Type III Fire Engine, used for grass and brush fires. Additionally, it was built large enough to house an ambulance someday.”

Initially, three personnel will staff the station and will provide services for any type of emergency, including fires, vehicle accidents, rescues and emergency medical services at the paramedic level.

“The additional fire station will contribute to an overall reduction in response times across the entire city and provide mutual aid to our adjacent jurisdictions,” he said.

Immediately following the ribbon cutting, fire captain and engineer promotions commenced. Promotions included Captain Mathew Blake, Captain Bill Woodward, Captain Benjamin Signor, Engineer Kalei Silva, Engineer Gene Groninger, Engineer Brent Cramer, Engineer Pierce Ackerman, Engineer Matt Christensen, Engineer Jeff Smith and Engineer Brett West.

Following, Fire Prevention Officer Bryce De Witt was pinned and received his badge.

“With the addition of a fire station, I am very pleased to have promoted new fire captains and fire engineers,” Rodriguez said. “We also hired one fire prevention officer to assist with fire and life safety inspections and public education throughout the city. Additionally, we hired eight new firefighter-paramedics to provide the required staffing.”

The eight new probationary firefighters include Ryan Albers, Thomas Giles, Dylan Groner, Cory LaRussa, Ryan Lewis, Philip Listberger, Ricky Rodarte and Matthew Sagabaen.

“My goal is to always hire the best personnel to provide the best service for our community,” Rodriguez said. “I believe that the best is what our residents, business owners, visitors and employees deserve.”

Also during the ceremony, the department recognized retiring Engineer Jon Woo for his 30 years of service.