In a special Saturday event in Farmington, several firefighters took their oath and had their badges pinned, while the afternoon also included a recognition luncheon for the entire department.
Members of the Escalon Lions Club hosted the Appreciation Luncheon, with the department opting to combine it with the badge pinning ceremony and presentation of years of service pins. The ceremonial badge pinning and pin presentations were held prior to the luncheon.
Receiving their one-year pin and officially sworn in to service in the department were Christian May, David Caraveo, Barry Hickerson and Luis Estrada.
Firefighter/engineer Everardo Mosqueda, who was not able to attend, was recognized with a one-year pin. A five-year pin went to Firefighter/engineer Chris Lemos. Receiving their 10-year pins were Captain Jeff Briggs and Firefighter/engineer Ricky Yater, with Captain John Kalebaugh presented with his 15-year pin.
A 25-year service pin went to Assistant Chief Matt Bailey, with Fire Chief Conni Bailey receiving a 30-year service pin at the ceremony.
In remarks to department members and special guests at the luncheon, Chief Bailey said she is blessed to be surrounded by a good crew and supported by “one of the most progressive boards” in the region.
Board members Ed Bracco, Kelly Ogilvie, Butch Latini and Matt Bailey were all recognized on Saturday; board member Mike Keener was unable to attend.
“I don’t even know how to say how much I appreciate them,” Bailey said of her board, nothing they have helped to upgrade the department in many ways, from equipment to facilities to uniforms.
She pointed to the new Class 2 uniforms worn by department members as an example.
“When we have an event, they’ll (Farmington firefighters) stand out like every other firefighter in this county,” Bailey said. “I’m so proud to be the fire chief of this department, to have the support of this community and these gentlemen (board members) … I’m lucky.”
Assistant to the chief, Kristine Kalebaugh, also was honored for her efforts on behalf of the department, presented with flowers and a gift certificate.
Lunch was catered by the local L&M Blodgett Catering, organized by Lions Club member Tom Machado. Lions Club President Ken Taggart was on hand for the festivities and said the club felt it was important to offer the small token of thanks.
“We appreciate what you do for us, for the community, every day,” Taggart said.