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Fresno Fire Department honors rescuers at fall ceremony

John Pepper Jr., center, leans in to kiss son Kellen Pepper, 2, left, as his daughter Olivia Pepper, 5, right, watches after Olivia pinned a new shield to her dad who was promoted from firefighter to captain during the Fresno Fire Department’s Awards And Promotional Ceremony held Tuesday morning, November 3, 2015 at Fresno City Hall in Fresno, Calif. Twelve awards were given and 16 promotions recognized in a ceremony attended by family and supporters.
John Pepper Jr., center, leans in to kiss son Kellen Pepper, 2, left, as his daughter Olivia Pepper, 5, right, watches after Olivia pinned a new shield to her dad who was promoted from firefighter to captain during the Fresno Fire Department’s Awards And Promotional Ceremony held Tuesday morning, November 3, 2015 at Fresno City Hall in Fresno, Calif. Twelve awards were given and 16 promotions recognized in a ceremony attended by family and supporters. ezamora@fresnoebee.com

Twelve awards were given and 16 promotions/new hires recognized during the Fresno Fire Department fall ceremony Tuesday at City Hall.

Eight people were honored for their work in entering smoke-filled homes to rescue occupants.

Lifesaving Medals went to the Engine 9 crew members who rescued a person from a burning Tower District home on March 30: Capt. Justin McDonald; Firefighters Dennis Barnhart and Brandon Griffith; and Firefighter Specialists Chris Garcia (clinical save) and Robert Garcia.

Civilian Commendations went to Fresno police Sgt. Diana Trueba and officers Sean Cowart and Jeremy DeMoss for their May 11 rescue of a man in a wheelchair in a burning home southwest of Woodward Park.

Two other Civilian Commendations went to Paul Alley and Jeff Ginther, recognized for saving a driver who had crashed into the McKinley Canal east of Chestnut Avenue.

There also were two Meritorious Service Awards: Firefighter Specialist Jeffrey Crask for his Oct. 16 ladder rescue of a man trapped in the second story of a house burning near Community Regional Medical Center; and Firefighter Specialist Chris Garcia for his quick actions Aug. 21 to pull a Fresno fire truck out of harm’s way while the crew was on assignment fighting the Rough fire in eastern Fresno County.

Promotions: Capts. Robert Michaels, John Pepper, Koby Johns and John Creasy; and Firefighter Specialists Joshua Sellers, Peter Curtis, Agapito Martinez, Solorio Santos, Dustin Richards, Joseph Coppo, Ryan Bird, Russell Cramer and Willie Johnson Jr.

New hires: Fire Prevention Inspectors Andrew Dodderer, Brennen Henry and Tammy Eggert.

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