Thursday, December 1, 2022

Southlake Fire Department holds badge pinning and promotional ceremony honoring 25 Firefighters

Early 2019 was the last time a badge pinning ceremony was held for new and promoting firefighters, marking the milestones in careers for firefighters, both new and old. The ceremony is a rite of passage in the fire service, explained Chief Michael Starr, who leads the Southlake Fire Department. “However, the pandemic affected these ceremonies as we protected our staff and the ones they love.”

Over two days, the Southlake Fire Department welcomed family and friends to the largest pinning ceremony in the department’s history, the first held since the pandemic reached Texas.

Nine promotions and sixteen new Southlake firefighters were celebrated in ceremonies on Monday and Tuesday. The department hired 21 firefighters during the pandemic. The new firefighters took their oath of office Monday evening at DPS Headquarters in the bay of Station 1.

“The oath of office is making an oath to protect the citizens; protect both life and property,” Starr said. During the ceremony, the firefighters had their badges pinned on their uniform by a person of their choosing, whether that be a family member, friend, or colleague. “It’s a recognition of the fact that they completed a rigorous process,” Chief Starr said. “They went through the hiring process and completed the orientation, and now they’re issued their badge that they’ll keep for their career and will only be changing when they promote.”

Deputy Chief Jeremy Wilson describes the pinning ceremony as symbolic of becoming part of the Southlake Fire Department team. He was pinned as the Deputy Fire Chief during Monday’s ceremony. “I have been through a pinning ceremony before in my career, but each one is special as it marks a new adventure and a new commitment; not only to the fire service but to the citizens of the City you are serving.”

Firefighter Nathan Alderson, previously a Southlake Public Works employee, worked hard to prepare himself for transfer and acceptance into the Southlake Fire Department. Alderson stated he knew, “this is what I need to do, this is where I belong, I belong in the Southlake Fire Department.”

Wilson feels that holding the pinning ceremony says a lot about the department, especially since they chose to include previous firefighters who could not experience their ceremonies during the pandemic.

The evening after, battalion chiefs, lieutenants, and apparatus operators who received promotions during the pandemic showed up at DPS Headquarters in the bay of Station 1 for their pinning ceremony. The devoted loved ones gathered to see them officially promoted to the next rank. Many veteran firefighters downplay the event, thinking it is not a big deal, but being able to share their accomplishments with their family members, friends, and younger fire service members spreads joy, pride, and excitement among all those who attend.

Tuesday’s ceremony celebrated two battalion chiefs, three lieutenants, and four driver/engineers who had been promoted since the pandemic.

“The pandemic was rough on everyone. Some things stood still, some things changed, and some things got pretty busy… but through it all, each and every member of my fire department staff provided the world-class service we are expected to give,” said Starr. “And even though some members were not able to be officially recognized at the moment due to the pandemic, it is my pleasure to give them that moment now, with all their loved ones present, happy and healthy.”

Front row left to right: Firefighter Allen Moreno, Firefighter Chase Villarreal, Deputy Chief Jeremy Wilson, Firefighter Jonathan Hurley, Firefighter David Ruble, Firefighter James Harris, Firefighter Dylon Barber. Back row left to right: Firefighter Kamry Weber, Firefighter Brady Tackett, Firefighter Jimmy Hoover, Firefighter Hayden Lavell, Firefighter Johnathan Badder, Firefighter Doug Carel, Firefighter Taylor Wines, Firefighter Tanner Yeaman, Firefighter Nathan Alderson

 

Front row left to right: Lieutenant Jason Moloney, Driver/Engineer Kevin Barry, Driver/Engineer J.W. Stone, Lieutenant Daniel Lyons. Back row left to right: Lieutenant Jimmy Elliott, Driver/Engineer Cody Brazelton, Battalion Chief Bryan Thomas, Battalion Chief Clif Altom, Driver/Engineer David Hill

 

Those who took the oath include:

Firefighter Nathan Alderson

Firefighter Johnathan Badder

Firefighter Dylon Barber

Firefighter Doug Carel

Firefighter James Harris

Firefighter Jimmy Hoover

Firefighter Jonathan Hurley

Firefighter Hayden Lavell

Firefighter Allen Moreno

Firefighter David Ruble

Firefighter Brady Tackett

Firefighter Chase Villarreal

Firefighter Kamry Weber

Deputy Chief Jeremy Wilson

Firefighter Taylor Wines

Firefighter Tanner Yeaman

Promotions Include:

Battalion Chief Clif Altom

Battalion Chief Bryan Thomas

Lieutenant Jimmy Elliott

Lieutenant Daniel Lyons

Lieutenant Jason Moloney

Driver/Engineer Kevin Barry

Driver/Engineer Cody Brazelton

Driver/Engineer David Hill

Driver/Engineer J.W. Stone