City Firefighter, Pablo Montoya, June’s Employee Of Month
By ROBERT NARANJO
A firefighter’s helmet is one of the most recognizable of all work apparel used by public safety employees. A toy version is made for kids, too, so that they can pretend to be firemen while playing with their little red fire engine, and in their imagination, saving people from fires and rescuing kittens from trees and roofs. That play firefighter’s helmet transforms kids into heroes in make-believe land. It used to be when one asked an elementary school child what he wants to be when he grows up and “a fireman” used to be a common answer. It still may be, but today’s firefighters are wearing more than just helmets and oxygen equipment.
They are also trained paramedics who answer non-fire emergencies, too. Firefighters roll out on non-fire related emergency calls, when an ambulance is called to a home or to an accident scene on streets or highways.
And, when there is no emergency, they are assigned special duties like help managing the fleet of fire trucks from top to bottom, within reason and insurance regulations. Having a firefighter that can multitask like this saves a city lots of money. They essentially do the job of three employees.
The Española Fire Department (EFD) has such a firefighter, paramedic and maintenance manager Pablo Montoya. Espanola Fire Department Lt. Ron Padilla wrote a memorandum to EFD Chief, Eric Tafoya, in late April nominating, EFD employee, Pablo Montoya, as the “City of Espanola Employee of the Month of June”. Here is Padilla’s nomination memorandum:
City of Española
Española Fire Department
Date: April 26, 2016
Fr: Lt. Ron Padilla
To: Chief Tafoya
Reg: Pablo Montoya
This Memo gives me the great privilege of nominating Firefighter Pablo Montoya as employee of the month. This Firefighter has gone way above the call to take care of business within the Fire Department. He has the duty of fleet management and takes it very seriously, his day is non-stop and is always embracing new things and is always putting his job first even when he is off duty. This young man is vital to our team and is an amazing employee.
In the regularly scheduled City Council meeting held June 14, Chief Tafoya and Lt. Padilla were asked to say a few words about Montoya before Mayor Alice Lucero presented him with the Employee of the Month certificate. The Mayor thanked the Chief, Lt. Padilla for nominating Montoya and she thanked Montoya for all his hard work at the Espanola Fire Department.
The Chief proudly told the Mayor and council that Montoya is hard working, dependable, smart, just a super firefighter and a great employee. “I wish I had 15 Pablo Montoyas firefighters,” the Chief remarked.
Lt. Padilla followed the Chief. “I’m his Lieutenant,” he began. “I work closely with him because he’s on my shift,” Padilla added. He said that he sees first-hand how diligent, self-starting, busy and industrious Montoya is on the job at the Fire Department.
He said that Montoya serves as as the “best firefighter he can be is for his wife, Therese,” Padilla concurred with the Chief about having “15 Pablo Montoyas” as firefighters and added, “If it wasn’t for our wives, like Therese, we wouldn’t be the firefighters that we are.”
Montoya, talked to the Valley Daily Post reporter after the meeting and said that he is “grateful for the support” of Chief Tafoya and Lt. Padilla. He thanked them for their consideration and for what they did in recognizing his work. He also thanked Mayor Lucero and the council and added that it was a good idea to recognize City employees.
When asked if he liked working at the EFD, Montoya said he works with a great crew and really “all the firefighters at the fire department are good people” and they “care about the public and strive to serve them professionally in all situations.” He also said he is thankful for the unfailing support of his family, especially his wife, Therese, saying “she has been completely supportive of me in my career as a firefighter and I can’t say enough about her. She means the world to me.”
Lt. Padilla was right when he shared with the Mayor and council that it’s the wives who make good men into great firefighters, “we wouldn’t be the firefighters that we are if it wasn’t for them,” he said.