Under a roaring ’20s celebration theme, the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department recently held its annual dinner and awards gathering at the Fortuna Fire Hall.
The Firefighter of the Year, Fire Citizen of the Year, Fire Chief’s Outstanding Service, and Ladies Auxiliary awards were presented, along with a special presentation to John and the late Diane Senestraro.
Jim Hinrichs was selected as the Firefighter of the Year. Division Chief Hinrichs has been with the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department since April 1999 and prior to that spent 8 1/2 years with the Scotia Volunteer Fire Department. He has been a Fortuna Rodeo Board member for 18 of his 20 years with the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department.
“The criterium for this award is participation and community involvement, someone whose actions have gone well beyond the call of duty, and deserved to be recognized by their peers,” Chief Lon Winburn said. “Our thanks to Division Chief Jim Hinrichs for his contribution to our fire department and staffing program.”
The Fire Citizen of the Year is Cindy Daetweiler.
“Our recipient of the Fire Citizen award which is voted on by the department membership is a small local business owner who truly believes in customer service and supporting the community that she lives and works in,” Winburn said referring to Daetweiler. He outlined her community contributions including sponsorship of the Fortuna Fun and Food program, raising $4,000 for the fire department by sponsoring the Fortuna Strong Diamond and Gold drawing, and doing all the engraving on the Main Street flag poles which honors veterans.
“I have never walked into her place of businesses, even with a last-minute request and trust me, there have been many, and felt anything but warmth and friendliness,” Winburn said.
The Fire Chief’s Outstanding Service award was presented to 35-year Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department member Dave Victorine.
“This year’s award focuses on the real core of who we are and what we represent as a volunteer agency,” Winburn said. “(Victorine) is the absolute best example of someone who has committed to their community through serving on their volunteer fire department at an extremely high level and continues to do so even after 35 years of service, not to mention 31 years on the Fortuna Rodeo Board.”
Victorine was described as in the top five ranking in the fire department for response and training.
A special appreciation award was presented to John Senestraro and his late wife Diane.
“This is a special recognition for a couple who have been supportive of not only the fire department for many years but also supportive of our community,” Winburn said.
Diane was involved in the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department through the Santa’s Sleigh program and her work with local youth. John was recognized for his service with the fire department from 1965 to 1980.
“He served as a firefighter, 1st Lieutenant and secretary-treasurer,” Winburn said. “John, please accept our thanks for the support you and Diane have shown our fire department and our community.”
The Fortuna Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary also honored one of their members at the awards dinner, selecting Deanna Rios Glaser, who has been a member since April 2016. Rios Glaser is an independent jeweler for Premier Designs.
“She has been involved with ladies auxiliary helping with rodeo, apple harvest, breakfast with Santa and any event that needs an extra hand,” said Fortuna Fire Ladies Auxiliary member Julie Winburn. “We just love Deanna and her energy. She’s like the Energizer bunny!”
Fortuna Fire Department Explorer Monserratt Carrillo was also recognized at the awards dinner, being selected by his peers as someone who exhibits a positive attitude and leadership capabilities, is enthusiastic, and participates at a high level.