Commendations, Praise & Recognition from Community Members & Colleagues 

I wanted to thank Keauanna Mackey for helping me schedule a station tour on April 27th. Everyone at the station was very friendly! I'd also like to give a commendation to Fire Fighter Eric Espinoza who gave us a very engaging tour. I hope we can schedule more of these visits.

Best Regards,



Congratulations to Battalion Chief Paul Cavagnaro, Firefighter Greg Louzao, Apparatus Operator Gene Taylor, Firefighter Tad Travis, Captain Chuck Wong, Captain Tyre Mills III, and Apparatus Operator Jim Geissinger for completing twenty years of service with the City of Berkeley.  



I want to commend firefighter Damon Brown. He let the Berkeley CERTs into the building last night and came to lock up afterwards. He was so engaging, friendly, helpful and encouraging. Everyone there commented on his qualities.

My observations about the Berkeley Fire Department generally are that the firefighters are unfailingly friendly and available to the CERT volunteers and to the public at large. As a member of both those groups, I know how challenging we can be at times and so I hugely appreciate the effort to be courteous to a sometimes contentious lot. Great job commanding, Dave, but I think you were dealt a pretty good hand if firefighter Brown is the rule.



 Congratulations to Sam Law, Fire and Life Safety Plans Examiner for achieving 15 years of service and Captain Dennis Foley for achieving 35 years of the service.


 November 3, 2014

   This letter is to express our appreciation and commend the Berkeley Fire Department for its support of the Workshop on Fire Following Earthquake at the University of California’s Richmond Field Station and Equipment Demonstration in Berkeley.  The participation of your Department’s above-ground water supply system with the Cities of Vallejo, San Francisco, and Oakland’s water systems was the first time a joint exercise has been held. The demonstration was presented to 42 fire agencies from throughout the United States.


Richard McCarthy, Executive Director, California Seismic Safety Commission

Dale Cox, Project Manager, USGS Science Application for Risk Reduction Project

Kim Zagaris, Fire and Rescue Chief, OES

Stephen Mahin, Professor , UC Berkeley, Byron L. and Elviria E. Nishkian Professor of Structural Engineering



The Fire Department would like to recognize and thank the HHCS staff who helped 16 people displaced from their homes after the November 17th fire on Bonita Avenue. Chris Oniki made the North Berkeley Senior Center and restrooms available to residents waiting in the cold.  The senior center/Meals on Wheels staff brought them baked goods.  Raquel Molina was a resource to them in accessing the Relocation Ordinance to get back on their feet. Residents were impressed by the kindness and attentiveness of City staff, and the Fire Department appreciates everyone’s dedication to serve our community members.

   I would like to acknowledge Sarah Lana and Jennifer Lazo for their collaboration and work with the Health, Housing and Community Services Department and American Red Cross for their work updating the protocols and procedures to assist displaced residents. The plan they developed improved the communication and coordination between multiple agencies.

   Chief Dong



September 29, 2014

 Congratulations to Kino and his K-9 Handler, Captain Chuck Wong, for achieving the highest cumulative score against other urban, search and rescue canine teams and for receiving first place at the 2014 Urban Shield exercises.  Captain Wong also volunteered to serve as a Division Supervisor in the Red Area Command for developing and delivering an advanced canine medical course for the 2014 Urban Shield participants. The first place award is the result of Kino’s and Captain Wong’s hard work and dedication to the K-9 Urban Search and Rescue Program.



September 11, 2014

 Congratulations to Deputy Chief Aaron Lee, Assistant Chief Donna McCracken, Captain Warren Davis, Captain Robert Smith, and Captain John Tarascio for 25 years of service.



July 31, 2014

I would like to recognize several members of the department for their performance on an out of the ordinary call.  The individuals on the call were Captain Sprague ,
A.O. Arnold, FF/PM Landsberg, FF/PM Garcia, FF/PM John and FF/PM Dragovich.   The personnel involved rapidly transported a seriously injured patient to Alta Bates for stabilization.  After the patient was stabilized they worked together with the staff of Alta Bates to transfer the patient to the trauma center at Highland Hospital. 
The quick thinking and team work of the personnel on scene is to be commended.

 David McPartland

Captain, EMS



July 20, 2014

  I just wanted to let you know that Captain Brian Alexander  and his crew were at our meeting this past Saturday.  Captain Alexander gave an outstanding and much appreciated “Five Critical Steps” presentation.  The presentation was informative and his delivery impressive. All thirty of us present gave our unanimous approval – which isn’t shabby for a bunch of Berkeley residents.   - Les  


June 24, 2014 




















“I wanted to let the fire administration know that the team that came out was very enjoyable.  They were on time and gave a wonderful presentation and an excellent question and answer session at the end of the presentation.  Our organization will definitely give the fire department a call for another 5 critical steps presentation.  Please let them know that they did a wonderful job and that they have impressed the organization very much!”   Sincerely, Lovett


June 24, 2014

I wanted to let you know that our neighbor has a French family house-sitting, and the family became very concerned about the carbon monoxide detector going off.  The dispatcher sent over a truck that was in the neighborhood and the crew was bother very friendly and professional.  They tested the air and figured out that the detector was malfunctioning.  They didn’t make any of us feel bad about calling them.  Overall, we had a great experience interacting with the BFD.  Many thanks, Ted.

 April 23, 2014

Congratulations to Assistant Chief Abe Roman for his 15 years of service to the City of Berkeley and Berkeley Fire Department!   


April 7, 2014

Dear Berkeley Fire Department:  

 I am one of the devotees from the Self Realization Fellowship church in Berkeley. My name is Sylvia S. I had one of the most enjoyable weekends in my life. Thank you so much for having such a great CERT academy and incredible teachers (Lt. Brian Alexander and Firefighter-Paramedics Michael Dragovich and Dejuan Turner).

I feel so much more useful anywhere I go now. After the academy ended ,I went home and took my dog for a long hike put on my CERT back pack on .I felt very proud and  capable. In my head I went through different emergency scenarios as I walked and my ability to solve them with what I had in my pack. I felt immensely lucky to live in Berkeley,and to have had my teachers  hand me such wealth this weekend. I am feeling this deep sense of loyalty to them and to carrying myself as magnificently  as they did with all of us whenever I will encounter myself involved in a scenario where I will represent them.

In gratitude,

Sylvia S.


March 25, 2014

I just wanted to thank the Emergency Medical Team and Fire Department staff that came to attend to our teenage son at our home on March 10, 2014. They transported our son to get checked out.  Lieutenant Brian Alexander, Apparatus Operator Matt Einspahr, Firefighters Jason Adams, Levon Thaxton, and Amory Langmo were excellent in their approach, respectful, supportive, knowledgeable, and helpful. We so appreciated their help and just want to express our gratitude to them – please be sure to pass it on.  When your kid is suffering and you don’t know what’s happening, of course it’s extremely scary. I found their presence calming; both warm and professional.

 All the best…you guys are terrific….


February 5, 2014

Congratulations to the following individuals for 15 years of service to the City of Berkeley: 

Apparatus Operator Cliff Broome, Captain Brian Evans, Apparatus Operator Kandi Gill, Captain Brian Harryman, Firefighter Cal Mettler, Lieutenant Christy Warren, and Lieutenant Kevin White. 

 Congratulations to Firefighter-Paramedic Damon Brown for 5 years of service to the City of Berkeley.


December 11, 2013

Yesterday, (11/26/13) I found an upturned 3lb tin in my front yard garden containing an unknown white powder.  Not wanting to put it in the trash without knowing the contents, I called the Berkeley Police Department who promptly responded.  My first contact was Officer Jaylon who calmly looked at the contents and then called the Berkeley Fire Department. Dave McPartland one of the firemen, was very concerned if I was feeling any ill effects from having opened the can (a no-no, I've learned), fearing it might be a toxic chemical.  Subsequently, Haz-Mat arrived and was able to identify the substance as baking soda!.

I feel sorry for the inconvenience and costs my call caused, however  I was treated with concern and respect.  I wish all the citizens of Berkeley would be appreciative of the great public servants who are supporting us within our beloved City of Berkeley.

Most sincerely,



November 27, 2013

Dear Supervisor of Berkeley Fire Department ambulance service:

 On Saturday afternoon about  the response of BFD ambulance saved me from the highly uncomfortable effects of a totally unexpected heart problem I was experiencing. I found myself unable to move out of the car (and was having all of the symptoms listed below) when I parked at Trader Joe's to shop at 12:30  and return home--was feeling fine and on trek to get things done and had just gotten glasses at Four Eyes on Shattuck. I stayed calm and asked a nearby person to obtain an aspirin for me from the manager. He told me to breath deep and relax as much as I could. The ambulance arrived within a few minutes and treated me immediately and then took me to Alta Bates emergency where I spent the next 5 hours being treated. I recall that the paramedic on the ambulance was calm, careful and helped me to breath and talked to me.  All of the other members of the team were great. They got me in and out of ambulance gently and moved me to hospital gurney. They were all terrific and I wanted them to know how grateful I was for their response.  Kudos to Lt. Rankin, AO Somontan, Firefighter-Paramedic Jacobs-Langlois, Firefighter -Paramedic Nunes, and Firefighter-Paramedic Mettler

 November 26, 2013

Congratulations to Firefighter Mark Caldwell for celebrating his 35th year of service to the City of Berkeley.   

October 3, 2013

Congratulations to Colin Arnold, Kevin Boone, Jonathan Fischer, Dalibor John, Jonathan Pique, Carlos Romero, Dowell Standley, Carlo Teruel, and Anna Wankel for 5 years of service to the City of Berkeley.  We appreciate your dedication and service as Berkeley Firefighters.


August 4, 2013

I just wanted to thank (Carlos Rodriguez, Anthony Barlow, and Dejuan Turner) again for doing such an amazing job teaching our CERT Academy this weekend. As a former teacher and wilderness instructor, I know exactly what it takes to put together and deliver an intensive curriculum that's both in-classroom and hands-on, and you absolutely “rocked”!  : )

Thanks also for the private cheerleading session after my mini-meltdown...your words of encouragement and support really helped.

 I've always had a healthy respect for firemen, but after learning from you guys at this academy, my admiration and appreciation has grown even more. Thank you so much for all that you do!  - Laurie


July 29, 2013

This is a letter to inform you that I have been working with Samella Stover to get an appointment set up for our group to see Fire Station #7. She was always patient and very helpful every step of this process; she explained to me from the get go that it will require an okay from the battalion chief.  She called me early this morning to inform me that our request has been approved; I am so glad that she took the time to let me know as soon as we were approved. I am writing this so that Samella Stover will be recognized for the wonderful service she provides to the public!   Pauline C


We want to thank Fire Inspector Jim Thompson for the and highly informative and thoroughly enjoyable presentation he gave.  His sensitivity to and respect for the audience and their many different needs and challenges was greatly appreciated.  His sense of humor and the laughter it inspired was heartwarming for all of us; our 105-year-old tenant, Bertha, is still glowing at the attention you focused on her.


July 12, 2013

Congratulations to Will Billau, Karen Parroff, and Dion Williams for 25 years of service to the City of Berkeley.


 July 9, 2013

 Just wanted to thank you (Raven and Michael) for the great ride-along.  I really appreciate you guys constantly asking me if I had any questions, and letting me participate.  I also value your candidness and honesty.  I hope I am lucky enough to work with people like you when I enter the EMS field.  All the best, Cullen

June 14, 2013 


I just wanted to send a quick email just to give my thanks to all the paramedics/firefighters that I met yesterday in Station 1 for my ride-along. It was a really great experience and I definitely enjoyed getting to apply what I learned in EMT school. I also want to give a special shout-out to Sebastian for letting me follow him around the whole day and for being really great at answering my 100s of questions! You guys are awesome!” 

June 11, 2013


Thanks to all the crews and City personnel that responded to the Nash Hotel Fire on June 11, 2013. The Berkeley Fire Department rescued 12 residents from the building .  The fire department received additional support from the Berkeley Police Department police officers, dispatchers, and parking enforcement officers. In addition, personnel from the Health, Housing, and Community Services Department, Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront Department and Office of Emergency Services worked with the Red Cross to provide support for the displaced occupants.


May 2013 

Congratulations to Khin Chin, Berkeley Fire Department Associate Management Analyst, for his 5 year anniversary for the City. Khin is the City’s Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) Program Manager and serves in the Special Operations Division – Office of Emergency Services. Khin coordinated the 2012 and 2013 City’s disaster preparedness exercises. Congratulations to Khin! 

April 19, 2013


Congratulations to Acting Lieutenant Brian Alexander for delivering a health baby boy on a medical call last month.  Brian was assisted by Firefighter-Paramedics Dori Tieu and Tony Nunes.  The family and baby are healthy and wish to thank the Berkeley Fire Department for their assistance.


April 12, 2013


Berkeley Firefighter-Paramedic  Nicolas Lam received a commendation from the Berkeley Police Department for his efforts to apprehend and detain a robbery suspect while off-duty.  Nicholas observed a robbery in progress and stopped to intervene and detain the offender with other witnesses. Firefighter Lam’s courage and service reflect great credit upon himself, the Berkeley Fire Department, and the City of Berkeley.

March 26, 2013  

  Congratulations to Firefighter-Paramedic Dori Tieu for being selected Firefighter of the Year by the Kiwanis Club.  Firefighter-Paramedic Tieu was selected for her many community service efforts.   


 The Berkeley Police Department sent a note of appreciation and thanks to Firefighter-Paramedics David McPartland and Anthony Hall for their support and standby as a medical support unit at a recent operation.  



 Congratulations to Firefighter James Libertore, Apparatus Operator Todd Lowman, and Apparatus Operator Pete Reed for 15 years of service to the City of Berkeley! 



 Congratulations to Acting Captain John Tarascio, Lieutenants Scott Hall and Keir Rankin, Apparatus Operator Kevin Vander Ende and Michael Sullivan, and Firefighter Tad Travis as Core Class graduates.    

 February 19, 2013 


 At the risk of sounding melodramatic, my husband had a heart attack on Monday afternoon.  I drove him to the Alta Bates emergency room and he needed to be transported to Highland Hospital.  The two Berkeley Fire Dept. paramedics who attended him were great.  I especially want to pass along my appreciation of Michelle, one of the attending paramedics.  She was great.  Her professionalism extended to being warm and generous with her knowledge and expertise, answering questions and providing reassurance.  She went a long way to making me feel like things were going to be ok (which they are). I wanted to let you know that your staff were well trained, professional, and supportive.  Hopefully that goes a little bit of the way to making your job more enjoyable.   


 February 14, 2013 


 Congratulations to Janet Dong on her 35 years of dedicated City service, of which 32 years has been with the Public Safety Accounting Unit.  Up until December of last year,  her assignment included all of the purchasing responsibilities for both the Fire and Police Departments (over 150 vendors).    With a staff retirement in the accounting unit, she has assumed the responsibility for processing the sworn-Police payroll and continues to manage all Police Department purchasing activities.  Her commitment, dedication, and proficiency in managing her workload has allowed Fire and Police field operations to flow smoothly.       

 January 31, 2013 

  Alex is very lucky to be alive -- all the fire dept folks said she survived because she was standing at the opposite side of the apartment from the fire ball.   

An angel named Sarah Lana appeared right at the beginning out of nowhere and said she called Red Cross to get arrangements for Alex to sleep tonight -- she lives 2 blocks away, and it turns out she happens to be the Emergency Services Coordinator for the Berkeley Fire & Emergency Services....she was already at home, out of uniform, and she heard sirens, quickly checked her email and saw that it was on Martin Luther King and ran down here in her sandals to see if she could help!

Thank you for all your wonderful help and support for our neighbor, Alex. I've been writing to "everyone" since last night and they are all impressed by you and how you just appeared out of thin air and announced that Alex would have a place to stay.  



 January 24, 2013 

 “I wanted to acknowledge the fine support I received last Thursday, January 17th from BFD Paramedics. All members of the team (perhaps from Fire Station 2) were uniformly excellent.  They were professional, clearly expert and well-trained and coordinated as a team and had great bed-side manner! Please pass along my thanks and appreciation for the work they do. “  Thanks, Eric  

  January 24, 2013 

 Congratulations to Lieutenant Scott Hall, Apparatus Operator John Forney, and Apparatus Operator John Snell for their 20 years of dedicated service and commitment to the Berkeley community!   

 January 18, 2013   

 The Office of Fire and Emergency Services would like to commend Lieutenant Dan Green for his two and a half years of service to the Special Operations Division. Lt. Green served on a 6 month special assignment providing emergency caches and revamping the City of Berkeley CERT program. Following the special assignment, Lt. Green accepted a two year assignment as the Special Operations Lieutenant where he oversaw the implementation of an ePCR system, the City’s first CERT Academy, and numerous other projects. We’d like to thank Lieutenant Green for his willingness to take on this role and the leadership he demonstrated in the position.  

 January 12, 2013  

 An EMS patient wrote to express thanks for care received:  "Thank you so much for your expert care in May 2012.  The (treatment) in the ambulance helped a lot and trusting that I was being taken care of helped me deal with my (condition)."