OFR awards promotions at ceremony

The firefighters and families of Odessa Fire Rescue gathered at the Central Fire Station recently to recognize some new promotions in the department.

Fire Chief John Alvarez began the ceremony Tuesday by recognizing some of the department’s former rookies, who after one year of training were awarded their black fire badges, signifying one year with OFR.

“When you earn the One-Year Shield you begin to set the foundation of what you want your career to look like in this department,” Alvarez said. “You are the future of this department. You have the burden of becoming the leaders of this organization.”

To earn that one-year shield, the six firefighters awarded at the ceremony had to endure a year of various tests, including physical and written examinations, map tests, and a paramedic exam. The six firefighters at the ceremony were:

  • Brandon Cagiano
  • Ethan Davis
  • Jair Hammack
  • Joshua Herron
  • Luke Kemp
  • Brody Wood

Following the presentation of the one-year shields, Alvarez acknowledged two men who were awarded the position of engineer in the department, the person who drives the fire engine to the scenes of fires and accidents.

“They have the huge responsibility of getting our personnel to the scene safely,” Alvarez said. “They also step up in the acting officer role when needed.”

Two firefighters were promoted to the position: Eric Jacquez and Hunter Phillips, who was not in attendance as he and his wife were on vacation.

Two men were also promoted to Fire Captain, who Alvarez said is responsible for the health, welfare, training and supervision of personnel, the fire station, as well as apparatus and equipment.

Terry Brumbalow and Darren Wilkerson were promoted to the position.

“It’s a good step in my career and I’m excited to start,” Wilkerson said.

Finally, Alvarez named the new OFR Training Chief, Marty Moya. The Training Chief is responsible for performing the managerial and administrative functions of the training division, overseeing the fire training captain and the paramedic training captain.

“This position allows you to have an effect in our department because it oversees training in everything,” Alvarez said. “I know he will continue to improve this department from this position. I’m excited about that.”

Moya said it felt good to be promoted to the position, and that he would focus most importantly on training everyone in safety to make sure everyone goes home to their families at the end of the day.