You’ve undoubtedly read the stories in the Patterson Irrigator about the various activities they sponsor, including Santa Comes to Town, the annual Toy Drive, and the Every-15 Minutes program; you’ve been “hosed” during the annual Firefighter’s Muster at the Apricot Fiesta; you’ve attended dinner dances, tri-tip barbeques and pancake breakfasts; you’ve heard the sirens blaring as they head out of town, responding to a fire, vehicle accident, or medical aid — but who are they?
They are approximately 85 dedicated men and woman of the West Stanislaus Fire Protection District, who volunteer countless hours of their time, risking their lives to save others and to protect property for very little pay— $10.00 per incident to be exact — for each incident they respond to.
Since 1935, our communities have been served by volunteer firefighters, and I am very proud of each of them and their commitment to our communities. Even as the city of Patterson has grown, and career firefighters have been hired, the reliance on our volunteers has never wavered.
Over the next several months, we will be spot-lighting each of them in this section, paying tribute to their dedication, their family’s patience, and their employer’s contribution in allowing their respective employees to serve our communities on a moment’s notice. This is who they are…
Local volunteer Lenny Arriola is currently employed by CAL-Fire’s Butte County Fire Station No. 35 in Paradise, Ca., and is presently classified under the status of Fire Fighter I, a seasonal, temporary classification.
Although Arriola has only been with Butte County’s Fire Station for one season, he has been a part of the West Stanislaus Fire Protection District for the last seven years, and first began his journey as a volunteer firefighter in April of 2007.
“I volunteer because I enjoy talking to and helping the people of my community,” said Arriola. “I also enjoy working with the cooperating agencies.”
Arriola said he aspires to become an exceedingly knowledgeable firefighter and medical provider for the community as well, and is currently attending Paramedic School in order to achieve his goals. He hopes taking these steps will lead him into a career with the city of Patterson.
His brother, Danny, is also a volunteer with the West Stanislaus Fire Protection District, and currently works for Patterson’s district as part of the American Medical Response team’s ambulance, located in Modesto.