SAFD Assistant Chief of Operations Bids Farewell to 28 Year Career
SAN ANGELO, TX -- The San Angelo Fire Department bid farewell to two key firefighters and promoted six more to leadership positions.
On October 31, The SAFD held a retirement and promotion ceremony was held at the McNease Convention Center. Many public figures around town including Mayor Brenda Gunter, City Manager Daniel Valenzuela, and Chief of Police Frank Carter showed up in support of the event.
The ceremony started with Fire Chief Brian Dunn welcoming the crowd and then presenting the first retiree Matthew Ellison. Ellison was a Captain at the San Angelo Fire Department since 2013. Ellison has certifications as an advanced fire fighter, Officer 2, Instructor 1, and paramedic. Chief Dunn commended Ellison on his ability to train firefighters to the best of their abilities.
Ellison's retirement speech told the future of the SAFD that it wasn't just about helping people but it's about making a difference. "As firefighter's we all have the ability to make a difference just by simply through our caring and efforts," said Ellison. "Taking an extra moment to comfort someone or to fully explain what is happening might make all the difference.
The next retiree was Assistant Fire Chief Todd Sanford. Sanford was with the SAFD for 28.5 years. He has been the Assistant Chief of Operations since 2016. Sanford has certifications as a master firefighter, master aircraft firefighter, instructor 2, fire officer 2, SNF Safety Officer, wild land firefighter, and a paramedic. Sanford has assisted the city in getting the "Safer" grant, started the firefighter ball, he finished getting the TIFMUS program for firefighters who assisted in the California fires last year, and played a key role in the alert system. Here's a video of the alert system story we did a few months back:
Sanford's emotional farewell speech started with applauding the "best firefighters in the country." Then he went on by commending all the employee's of the City of San Angelo. "This city has the best employee's and the best people," said Sanford. "They are the cream of the crop." He especially commended the "real first responders" the San Angelo Dispatch team. He finished by telling the crowd of his greatest achievement. During the Sanford career, Sanford never lost one of his firefighters while he was on duty.
Johnny Fisher was then promoted to the rank of assistant fire chief. Stacy Wright was promoted to battalion chief.
Michael Anderson was promoted to captain and Manuel Garza was promoted to lieutenant.
Matthew Malleck and Jeffrey Hunter finished the ceremony by being promoted to the rank of driver for the department.
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