• November 30, 2020

New firefighters receive OFR badges - Odessa American: Fire And Rescue

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New firefighters receive OFR badges

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Posted: Monday, February 3, 2020 4:52 pm

More than 50 people attended the OFR badge pinning ceremony for eight new firefighters Monday at 1:30 p.m. in the Central Fire Station truck room.

Fire Chief John Alvarez stood in front of a fire truck thanking the friends and family of the firefighters and talked about the history and hazards of the job before the badge pinning of the new members.

Alvarez said that the new firefighters will be joining a bigger family at OFR,

“We could simply not be here if it wasn’t for those who came before us,” he said.

The eight new firefighters lined up to get their badges pinned by friends and family. After the badges were pinned, Alvarez shook hands with them and handed them their id badges and helmets. The majority of the helmets had the word, “rookie” across the top.

Eric Castillo, 21, of Odessa had his father David pin his badge on. Eric is from Odessa and graduated from Odessa High School. He said that he’d been waiting for this moment for a while. He was hired about a year ago as a cadet and before that he was working retail.

“I’ve been waiting a while for this,” he said. “I’m finally able to go on.”

His father said that it was proud moment for him, He’s been a firefighter for the Midland Fire Department for 22 years and didn’t expect his son to follow his footsteps.

“I didn’t push any my kids do anything he said, “I just let them find their own way.”

“I’m surprised he told me he wanted to do it,” he said. “I was really happy and I really wanted him too, but I just didn’t push him towards anything.”

Russell “RJ” Trainham, 23, from Wichita Falls, worked for OFR for a year as a cadet while he went through training. Before the academy, Trainham was a high school agriculture teacher in Bryant.

Josh Martin, 27, born and raised in Odessa, has spent the last year working as a cadet for OFR. He went to Odessa High School and worked in the oilfield before joining OFR.

Miguel Puente, 30, is from Midland and graduated from Midland High School in 2007. He worked at OFR in 2013 and for the Midland Fire Department for a period of time. After that he went to work in the oilfield, but returned saying he needed something more stable and a job to take pride in.

Payton Adams, 20, is from Lubbock and went to Frenship High School. For the next year, he will be on the job doing quarterly trainings. Dan Corey, Rocky Adams and Evan Gaw also received their badges.

Chief Alvarez said its good time for OFR to get new firefighters

“The good thing about these guys is that they went through the cadet program.” It took them almost a year to finish the fire academy and the EMT school.

“My hope for them is that a year from now I’ll bring them back and they’ll get their firefighter shield and that means they’re doing the right thing,” he said.

Odessa, TX

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