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Manhattan Beach Fire Department Members Sworn In At Promotion Ceremony

Aug 04, 2023 08:44AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Mayor Richard Montgomery swears in Manhattan Beach Fire Department members to their new positions at a badge-pinning ceremony. Photo credit: Joe Franklin.

Manhattan Beach Fire Department members were sworn in at a badge-pinning promotion ceremony earlier this week. They were honored by Manhattan Beach Mayor Richard Montgomery, city council members and staff, and friends and family.

(Manhattan Beach Fire Department members are sworn in at a pinning ceremony. Photo credit: Mary Fender.)

The Fire Department members and their new positions included:

Anthony Gomes - Fire Division Chief
Tyler Wade - Fire Division Chief
Kevin Tiscareno, Fire Division Chief
James Falls, Fire Captain
Erick Strong, Fire Captain
James Stratton, Fire Engineer/Paramedic
Christian McArthur, Fire Engineer/Paramedic
Jeff Rice, Fire Engineer/Paramedic
Kevin Bass, Fire Marshal
Suzy Contreras, Fire Inspector
Miguel Gutierrez, Fire Inspector

Also promoted but not able to attend the ceremony were:
James Craig, Fire Captain
Joshua Kueng, Fire Engineer/Paramedic

The Manhattan Beach Fire Department, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, consists of 30 firefighters, one fire marshal, two fire inspectors, and four other administrators, all but one of which are full-time.

Manhattan Beach has two fire stations, Fire Station #1 at the Civic Center Complex at 15th and Valley, and Fire Station #2 in East Manhattan at Manhattan Beach Blvd. and Rowell. Currently, however, all firefighters are working at Fire Station #1 until construction on the East Manhattan fire station is complete. A grand opening for the new building is currently set for September.

100 Years of Service

Manhattan Beach's organized fire department was formed in 1923, when it began as an all-volunteer department based at City Hall on 15th Street and Highland Ave. As the fire department developed over the years, a second fire station East of Sepulveda at Manhattan Beach Blvd. and Rowell was added in 1954.

A new era of in-field medical treatment began in 1973, when the California Legislature passed the Mobile Intensive Care Unit Paramedic Act, permitting the certification of "paramedics," trained to very high standards, to provide specific medical emergency techniques in the field. A special team of five Manhattan Beach firefighters began training at South Bay Hospital to participate in the most advanced primary responder medical training available. They completed their training July 14, 1973, and were immediately put into service, saving the life of a teenage boy that same afternoon.

In today's Manhattan Beach Fire Department, everyone in the field is, or has been, a certified paramedic, and every Manhattan Beach fire apparatus is manned with certified and extremely well trained paramedics. Today's modern paramedics are now capable of delivering emergency room level patient care in the field.

A notable piece of history on the Manhattan Beach Fire Department: "It was during the depression years between 1930 and 1933 that all city employees took a 10% pay cut. The extra money was used to feed transients, which consisted occasionally of entire families. The fire department handed out meal tickets that could be redeemed at a local restaurant called the Green Shack on Center Street. The fire department during this time was the place to go for any and all needs, including food. This is a sentiment that continues to this day."

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