San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

Firefighter Jordan Hutton, left, was named San Marcos Firefighter of the Year by his peers. Fire Chief Les Stephens presents the award to Hutton during the department’s annual ceremony in February. PHOTO by DON ANDERS


The San Marcos Fire Department said goodbye to retirees, announced promotions and honored outstanding first responders on Saturday, Feb. 22 during the department’s annual award ceremony.

Top departmental awards went to:

► Firefighter Isaac Hernandez was named “Iron Man of the Year” for responding to the most number of calls during 2013, a total of 482 emergency calls.
► Firefighter Jordan Hutto was designated as Firefighter of the Year and Battalion Chief Howard Minor as Officer of the Year. They were chosen by their peers for excellence in performance, leadership, work volume and quality, and assistance with special programs and training.
► The Liberty Mutual Fire Mark Award was given to engineer Richard Howser for years of fire service and dedication to the community.

Life-saving awards went to:

► Capt. Jay Horton, engineer Jonathan Henderson and firefighter Daniel Martinez received the Phoenix Award Medal; San Marcos/Hays County EMS Captain/Paramedic Daniel Guerra and paramedic Rachel Kolls received the Phoenix Award Ribbon; and former City of San Marcos lifeguard Cassi Gonzalez received a Certificate of Commendation for saving a person’s life using CPR when a swimmer went into cardiac arrest at the San Marcos Activity Center natatorium last year. First responders found the patient lying unconscious and not breathing by the side of the pool.
► Capt. Jay Horton, firefighter Robert Dallimore and firefighter Daniel Martinez received the Phoenix Award Medal; and San Marcos/Hays County EMS paramedic Matthew Weinberg and paramedic David Brooks received the Phoenix Ribbon for their life-saving actions during an incident on Nov. 26, 2013 in which a patient went into cardiac arrest while being loaded into ambulance, stopped breathing and lost a pulse.

Appointments, promotions and retirements were recognized:

Rick Rowell’s promotion to assistant chief was announced. He had previously served as the C-Shift battalion chief. Battalion Chief John Koenig, Battalion Chief Howard Minor, Capt. Andrea Acosta, Capt. Jonathan Henderson, Capt. Greg Sherrill, engineer Barrett Barbour, engineer Vincent Marin and engineer Louis Gonzales were all formally promoted to new positions within the department.
► New firefighters Billy Mullins, Daniel Martinez and Bobby Nance took the oath of office.
► Retirees Jim Turnage (33 years), Len Nored (28 years) and Russell Allen (24 years) were given commemorative axes, retiree badges, framed artwork by illustrator Paul Combs and personalized coffee mugs in honor of their years of service. Nored, former assistant chief, received a commemorative bench matching the one in front of Station 5.

The San Marcos Fire Fighters Association presented awards for outstanding service to:

► Firefighter David Tomas for his work on a barbecue fundraiser and raffle. He also received a remembrance plaque in honor of his father to be hung in the Knights of Columbus Hall in Giddings.
► Battalion Chief Jim Matano for 14 years of service as executive board member.
► Fire Chief Les Stephens for his teamwork and efforts in working beside the association.

Service awards were presented to:

► 35 Years: Capt. Tommy Norris
► 20 Years: Battalion Chief Jim Matano
► 10 Years: Capt. Jeff Green
► 5 Years: Capt. Liz Baldinger, firefighter Stephen Guenther, Capt. Jonathan Henderson, firefighter Isaac Hernandez, firefighter Kaleb Johnson and firefighter Jose “JJ” Torres

Other awards and honors:

► Certificates of Merit went to: Firefighters Jordan Hutto and David Tomas.
► Certificates of Appreciation went to: Fire Marshal Ken Bell, Capt. Andrea Acosta, firefighter Robert Dallimore, Capt. Clint Foehner, and firefighters Michah Harris, Billy Mullins, Brandon Ninneman and Jonathan Pakula.
► Perfect attendance awards went to: Capt. Garrett Jordan, firefighter Daniel Martinez, battalion chiefs Jim Matano and Howard Minor, and firefighters Billy Mullins, Jonathan Pakula and Tyson Plagens.
► Members of the Citizens Fire Academy Classes of 2011, 2012 and 2013 also were recognized.

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