Fire foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Mount Laguna volunteer
Susan Raimond, assistant chief for the Mount Laguna Volunteer Fire Department, has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Diego Regional Fire Foundation for 26 years of service to her community.
Raimond, 58, was among 20 volunteer firefighters honored by the foundation Thursday. Of those honored, a dozen firefighters, including Raimond, serve under the San Diego County Fire Authority, which provides support to 15 rural fire agencies, including 12 volunteer stations, and extends round-the-clock protection to 1.5 million acres in the unincorporated county.
In accepting her award, Raimond told the group that her concern for her own family, especially her daughter, is what led her toward firefighting in 1986. She wanted to know what to do in a medical emergency, especially since her family lives in a rural community.
Raimond spoke highly of her chief and fellow firefighters and the important work they do.
“These guys and these gals I work with, they challenge you,” Raimond said. “What an honor, what a privilege to serve with them.”
Under the Fire Authority, volunteers attend a Cal Fire training academy and are paid a stipend in return for regular shifts at volunteer stations.
At the ceremony, the foundation also awarded $278,000 in grants to volunteer fire departments. More than $212,000 of that went to the San Diego County Fire Authority fire stations for equipment.
Joan Jones, executive director of the San Diego County Regional Fire Foundation, said the nonprofit has awarded more than $4 million in grants to rural fire departments over the past 23 years. The grants pay for equipment and training.
“We’re thrilled to be able to provide that level of support to you,” Jones told the group. “We would like to be a financial lifeline for the firefighting community.”
Foundation grant awards paid for various equipment such as the airborne video camera for the San Diego County Fire Authority, thermal imaging cameras at various fire stations, personal protection equipment, hose and hand tools, a hydraulic hose expander, training, and radios.
The grant money is raised through corporate and individual donors.
The volunteer recognition and grants boost morale and help fund critical fire equipment or training, said Herman Reddick, with the San Diego County Fire Authority.
“We are extremely appreciative of the fire foundation for its dedication to helping improve the system of fire and emergency services in San Diego County,” said Reddick.
Other Volunteer Firefighters of the Year include:
•Adam Pollock, Intermountain
•Dave Southcott, Julian/Cuyamaca
•Camron Beauchamps, Borrego Springs
•Curtis Wilson, Campo
•Paul Andrews, De Luz
•Efrain Carrillo, Montezuma Valley
•Jonathon Hailstone, Mount Laguna
•Joey Huss, Palomar Mountain
•Nick McNamer, Pine Valley
•Cody Lingard, Rainbow
•Joseph Potter, Deerhorn Valley
•Michael Goldberg, Dehesa
•Camille O’Briant, Harbison Canyon
•Rodrigo Bermudez, San Pasqual
•Colton Woolley, Shelter Valley
•Matt Bolin, Sunshine Summit
•Arthur Camarena, Warner Springs
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