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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

"The West Coast's Premier Fleet Marine Force Training Base"

Camp Pendleton Fire Department wins DOD department of the year

By Courtesy Story | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | November 13, 2020

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The Camp Pendleton Fire Department was selected as the Department of Defense’s Large Fire Department of the Year for 2019.

Acting Under Secretary of the Navy Gregory J. Slavonic presented the award to CPFD firefighters during a ceremony at the Marine Memorial Golf Course on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, Oct. 27.

In 2019, CPFD conducted over 3,983 emergency responses; 2,002 rescues; 142 hazardous material-related incidents; and responded to 1,665 structural fires and 161 wildland fires, which burned approximately 1.2 million acres.

“We are well recognized for our great leadership,” said U.S. Marine Col Jeffery Holt, the deputy commander of Marine Corps Installations West, MCB Camp Pendleton. “We have an amazingly effective fire department, you can see that from looking at each small unit. If you go to a station you can tell they’re happy and well led.”

Slavonic also awarded CPFD firefighters and members of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service with individual awards for their actions during a recent fire near the Del Luz housing area.

“I couldn’t be more proud to represent this group of professionals,” said Ken Helgerson, the CPFD fire chief. “A lot of people see us responding to emergencies, but we do much more than that. We also do a lot of fire prevention and education campaigns for the Marines on the installation.”

Chief Ryan Rushing was awarded the Department of the Navy Civilian Service Commendation Medal, the Civilian Firefighter of the Year award was awarded to Matt McLeod, the EMS Provider of the Year award was awarded to Chad Arnold, and the Civilian Fire Officer of the Year award was awarded to Chief Pete Korodini.

“Bravery is a common thread that ties our award recipients together,” said Slavonic, during the ceremony. “You and your teams have continued to put your lives on the line to protect military personnel and the public.”


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