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» Firefighter Awards

2010 Employees of the Year

Firefighter of the Year

Firefighter Ralph Mangan III was named the 2010 Fulltime Firefighter of the Year. After graduating from college Ralph became an insurance adjuster. Years later he decided he wanted to try something else. He joined the Show Low Fire Department on a part-time basis. There he became a certified Firefighter I/II and an EMT-B. Ralph began working for us as a part-time firefighter/EMT in 2009 and was hired fulltime in 2010. He recently completed his probationary year. “Ralph is fairly new to this department, but he has adapted very well. Ralph has gone beyond what was required to better himself for the job and the department. He has a great personality and is very friendly. He is always willing to help and learn and teach when his previous careers have granted him experience for him to use. Ralph can get along with everyone in the department and always sends out verbal encouragements to those trying to do something better.”

Captain of the Year

Captain Carlos Valadez was named 2010 Captain of the Year. Capt. Carlos Valadez began as a paid on call firefighter in 1994. He attended the Show Low Fire Academy and received his Firefighter I/II Certification. He was hired on a fulltime basis in 1999. Carlos also became a certified fire instructor and an EMT-B. He was voted the firefighter of the Year in 2001 and Captain of the Year in 2005. “Captain Valadez is a great person who is a great asset to this department. The reason he is a great asset is because he shows leadership by taking charge and making sure that everyone is accounted for and taken care of. Carlos helps firefighters deal with their personal problems away from the department. When he sees potential in a person he wants to water the seed and watch it grow. He shows his leadership by getting as much work done around the station as possible, but not in the way that he cracks the whip until everybody on the crew hates each other. He has an understanding of the crew he is working with. He considers the crew’s experience level, the call volume, and how tired we may be.”

Paid On Call Firefighter of the Year

Firefighter Brian Sellers was selected as the 2010 POC Firefighter of the Year. Brian started working for us as a part-time firefighter/EMT-B in 2010. He also works part-time for White Mountain Lakes Fire Dept. “Brian is always willing to work when called upon. He is a cheerful person and a cheerful person is always a good thing in life. He travels to all three stations. He never complains. He is always happy. When he comes to work he gets along with everyone and always wants to work. When there is a lull in the day, he starts looking for ways to help the department with his construction skills.”

All Around Firefighter of the Year

2010 All Around Firefighter of the Year presented to Firefighter Brian Sellers.

Fire Chief's Special Recognition Awards

Wilberta George: Wilberta started her career as a paid on call firefighter in 2004. She attended the Lakeside Fire Academy and became a certified Firefighter I/II. She was hired fulltime in 2006. She is currently enrolled in an NPC EMT class. She is one of the few remaining certified car seat technicians in the department. She has donated much of her free time working with our Injury Prevention Program promoting fire prevention and safety. Wilberta has also been a key component in our Youth Firesetter Intervention Program.

Daniel Metzger: Daniel started his firefighting career with Eager Fire Department. He started working with us as a part-time Firefighter I/II/EMT-B in 2008. He was hired as fulltime near the end of 2009. He was the 2009 Part-time Firefighter of the Year. Daniel recently became a National Registry Certified EMT-Paramedic. He also works for WMAT EMS.

Stewart Dillon: Stewart’s career in the fire service went full circle. He started his firefighting career as a volunteer in the McNary Fire Department in the early 1980s. He eventually became the fire chief and continued in that role until the creation of the White Mountain Apache Fire & Rescue Department in 1988. During that time he became a certified EMT-I and also worked for WMAT EMS. After moving to Pinetop he began working for the Pinetop Fire Department. He also worked for us on a part-time basis. While returning from hiking with his dogs, a drunk driver ran into Stewart’s pickup on Porter Mountain Road in Lakeside. As a result of the injuries he received Stewart was forced to retire from Pinetop Fire on a medical disability. Once again he began working for us on a part-time basis as a logistics officer at the Hon Dah Station. Due to the mandatory 40% reduction in force Stewart was let go in 2010. Stewart’s firefighting career started in McNary/Hon Dah and ended in McNary Hon Dah. He devoted close to thirty years in serving others on and off the reservation.

All of the awards were presented during the Department's annualAwards Banquet held on February 1, 2011 at the Hon-Dah Resort and Casino. Click here for picture slide show of the event. The WMAT congratulates these award winners and all Fire & Rescue employees. They deserver sincere thanks and appreciation for the important services they provide.

Click here to see the employee award recipients for 2009.

Click here to see the employee award recipients for 2008.