Scottsdale Fire honors outstanding work

Scottsdale Fire Department recently recognized outstanding employee and volunteer achievements at its annual ceremony in December at the Central Lawn at the newly designed mall area by the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.

“Our staff is tremendously gifted, efficient, and they live our mission of ‘We Care for You’,” says Fire Chief Tom Shannon. “These individuals go above and beyond to exceed expectations to meet the needs of our community.”

Those celebrated for being outstanding members or friends of the fire department were:

  • Community Partner Deborah Peck, Siety Insight, has been integral in the work that the SFD is doing related to the continuity of our “We care for you” culture. Her work in social science and large organization culture management has helped guide the identification and investment in our next generation of leaders.
  • Volunteer of the YearMary Ellen Joseph has been a Scottsdale Fire volunteer since 2008. Her background as a PT tech was – and continues to be – invaluable to the Home Safe Home program.  She is able address specific issues that can raise the individual’s risk of falling and identify the remedies.  She also assists with the Lockboxes for Seniors Program and has helped teach Hands-only CPR to the community.
  • Civilian Employee of the YearMark Garcia was relied upon to keep Scottsdale Fire IT resource needs addressed. This year presented unforeseen challenges to the technology team. Mark took the initiative to identify what our department was missing and what was available in the technology field, and then went to work on providing fixes.
  • Firefighter of the YearFirefighter Marty Armstrong has made a career of advocacy both for the members and mission of the Scottsdale Fire Department.  He is very active in committee work for the department and IAFF Local 5050 member services.  Marty’s leadership in fire programs and process helps assure that future firefighters, engineers and captains will learn modern methods of fire service delivery.
  • Officer of the Year Captain Tony Ambrosia constantly seeks ways to improve training and make our members the safest and highest performers possible. Additionally, his role as lead in the Honor Guard requires him to shoulder the grief of lost member’s loved ones. He has been a part of the command team at the annual IAFF Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Colorado Springs.  His professionalism and commitment are unwavering.
  • Meritorious Service – 
    • L615 crew, Mike Virgadamo, Mike MacCrone, Lee Davis, Rory Wirth for their efforts in a Mayday call at a housefire in Phoenix.
    • Preston Fuller, Cody Taylor, Tristan Watmore, Rory Wirth for taking quick action to help a woman in distress and save her life.
    • Andrew Szerlag for saving one his crew who was choking.   

“Our award winners are an example of the dedication all of our staff have to the residents and visitors of Scottsdale,” Shannon said. “We are pleased to highlight the great work and honor the best of the best.”

At the event, SFD also recognized the year's new hires and promotions, including the swearing in of new firefighters, engineers and captains.

"Scottsdale Fire continues to grow to meet the emerging needs of our community," said Shannon. "We look forward to watching these individuals as they take the department forward.”


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