Santa Monica Fire Department welcomed a batch of new recruites at its Graduation Ceremony at Barker Hanger on March 6.Their graduations are the culmination of a nine-week training academy program and all graduates are also California EMT or NREMT certified.
One of the recruits, Cody Shirk, is third generation SMFD. His grandfather, Al Shirk, started work with the Santa Monica Fire Department July 1955, retired in January 1975, and passed away in 1981. Al’s son, Walter Shirk is currently a Division Chief with the Santa Monica Fire Department. He was hired as a Firefighter in May 1974 and worked his way through the ranks, including 25 years as a Paramedic. Walter and his wife Bonnie currently live in Malibu where Cody was raised.
Cody has been working as an Ocean Lifeguard for the LA County Fire Department for the past five years. He recently completed his A.S. in Fire Science at Oxnard College after receiving his B.A. in Communications from California Lutheran University. At CLU, Cody was a four-year collegiate water polo player and captain of the team for his junior and senior year.
Following is a brief biographical information on the other new recruits:
Joe Cavin has worked at Ancon Marine for the past year as a rescue technician where he was responsible for rescue operations on oil refineries. For the past five years he has also been a volunteer firefighter for La Habra Heights Fire Department. Cavin is just a few units away from receiving an A.A. Degree in Fire Science from Rio Hondo College.
Walter Gonzalez leaves his position as a firefighter with the Northrup Grumman Fire Department to join the Santa Monica Fire Department. He was also a reserve firefighter for the past two and a half years for the Santa Ana Fire Department. He continues to attend school in pursuit of a degree in physiology.
William Howard comes from the Los Angeles Fire Department. Prior to that he worked for the National Parks Service as a firefighter for four fire seasons where he was appointed squad boss and lead EMT. He attended Oxnard College Regional Fire Academy where he received his FF1 & RS1 certificates. He also worked as a Fire Cadet with the Ventura County Fire Department. William continues his education attending Oxnard College and will soon have an A.S. in Fire Science.
Kevin Nestor has worked for the Ventura County Fire Department as a member of their hand crew for the past five years. He currently works with heavy equipment and has had the opportunity to work as a helicopter crewmember and a coordinator for their Fire Hazard Reduction Program (weed abatement). Prior to that, Kevin worked for the U.S. Forest Service as a wildland firefighter for two seasons. Kevin is working towards an A.A. in Fire Technology.
Mirror Contributing Writerstaff@smmirror.com