The 2023 Keizer Fire awards

The Keizer Fire District honored its outstanding employees for 2023 at a ceremony on Saturday, March 30. The evening included the promotion of several employees.

Fire Chief Ryan Russell presented the awards.

The evening began with length of service awards to Engineer/EMT Jason Perkins for 10 years and Engineer/Paramedic Casey Finnerty for five years.

Lieutenant Matt Dryden was honored as the 2023 Employee of the Year.

Dryden has been a past recipient of the same award. 

“Lieutenant Dryden shows his pride in our organization through consistent hard work and dedication to the success of the fire district. In charge of keeping our fleet running, managing a shift, and caring for the people he leads, Lieutenant Dryden is an exceptional employee and officer,” said Russell.

Dryden was recently promoted to lieutenant. 

The 2023 Chief’s Award was presented to Chief Rachel Brozovich. 

“Chief Brozovich is an example of what it is to be a leader,” Russell said. 

Brozovich was cited for serving the citizens of the fire district by leading a shift, managing a division, working on a state overhead team, building relationships between partner agencies and representing Keizer Fire. 

“Working everyday to be better and to make us all better along the way, Chief Brozovich is a mentor, a professional, a peer and a friend to many,” Russell said. 

Trevor Riordan was named the Volunteer Firefighter of the Year. 

Chief Russell said of Riordan, “Although a quiet individual, Trevor’s passion for the job is loud. Trevor is a strong worker, funny, gets along with everyone and shows excitement for firefighting.” Trevor is on a full academic scholarship and continues to work 48-hour shifts while balancing a course load at school. 

Firefighter / Paramedic Eric Olheiser was honored as Firefighter of the Year. 

Russell described Olheiser as an “individual we wish we could duplicate.” 

“He is loved by all and a naturally talented firefighter,” Russell said. “Eric consistently shows his dedication to the job and is an asset to the district. He is kind, hard-working, dependable, professional, takes pride in his work, cares about his co-workers and has a consistently positive attitude.” 

The Rookie of the Year honor went to Firefighter/Paramedic Joe Hiller, who was noted for his work ethic and self-improvement efforts. 

“He takes on additional projects, is the first to attend outside training and pushes himself mentally and physically to get better every day,” Russell said. “Joe is very professional, never complains, and is dedicated to the job he is passionate about.” 

Christina Santoyo was named EMT of the Year. 

Among comments on forms nominated her were: 

• “I wish we had 20 more people just like her.” 

• “Christina is a teacher, a friend, and one of the most compassionate individuals I have ever worked with.” 

• “She always shows up with a smile on her face, takes on extra classes and duties, has built EMS training for the district, and has shined.” 

• “Christina is an example of what it is to be a great human being.” 

At the ceremony, Russell said, “Christina has somehow captured the spirit, passion and excitement for EMS that a new paramedic has and has maintained it in a career spanning over 20 years. Keizer Fire District is lucky to have her.” 

In the promotions part of the evening, Justin Endicott was promoted to the position of engineer. Endicott joined the fire district in 2018. He is currently assigned to C-shift. 

Ted McClung was promoted to captain. McClung has been with Keizer Fire District since 2014. 

He has taken on the district’s water rescue program, helping to strengthen its response capabilities and improved interagency relationships. He is assigned to A-Shift. 

Another new captain is Andrew Alderson, who has been a member of the fire district since the start of his professional career in 2012. Since then, he has become a member of the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Incident Management Team and been deployed on several conflagrations. Alderson is assigned to B-Shift. 

Christina Wilson was promoted to battalion chief. 

Wilson began her Keizer Fire District career in 2007 after holding positions in Virginia and Washington. Wilson has served as union president in recent years. She is assigned to B-Shift. 

On top of the Chief’s Award, Rachel Brozovich was promoted to battalion chief. 

Brozovich began her career at Keizer Fire District in 2009. Brozovich has taken on many responsibilities in her new role as training chief. Brozovich is currently assigned to A-Shift. 

Contact Publisher Lyndon Zaitz:
[email protected] or 503-390-1051

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