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Service organizations celebrate heroes

FALLBROOK — Outstanding performance on the part of individuals from the California Highway Patrol (Oceanside office), North County Fire Protection District and the Sheriff’s Department Fallbrook Substation was rewarded at an awards luncheon recently at the Grand Tradition.

In front of a packed house, honoree firefighter/paramedic Anthony Fieri was introduced by Fire Chief Bill Metcalf. Metcalf pointed out that the annual honoree is selected by his peers.

Honoree Cpl. Tom Vrabel of the Fallbrook Substation was introduced by Sgt. Mark Foster, who stated that, in addition to his regular duties, Vrabel is also the training officer and is “quick to step up to the plate” when needed.

Honoree George Salas, a CHP officer, was introduced by Captain Dave Webb. Webb told the audience that in addition to his regular duties, Salas, who has 20 years with the department, is also an advisor to the agency’s Explorer Program.

Recipients were each presented an elegant wall plaque and a rotating plaque with all past honorees’ names. A similar plaque is updated each year for each of the offices of the fire, CHP and sheriff’s local offices.

In addition to the awards, the “Celebrate the Work of Our Heroes” topic was discussed by guest speaker Keith Slotter, Special Agent in Charge of the San Diego Division of the FBI. In his presentation, he recognized all firefighters, CHP and sheriff’s personnel in attendance.

Centering his remarks on the events of September 11, 2001, as well as their everyday duties, Slotter reminded the audience that “these are the people going into the buildings when everyone else is trying to get out.”

Slotter closed by saying, “Terrorism is a threat to all of us and we must never become apathetic about it. With people such as these from the CHP, fire and Sheriff’s Departments, we can find the energy to confront events together.”

Sponsors of the annual event include the Rotary Club of Fallbrook, Fallbrook Kiwanis, Bonsall Rotary Club, Soroptimist International of Fallbrook and the Fallbrook Village Rotary Club.


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