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Montecito Fire welcomes four new firefighters to the department

By Christina Atchison
May 24, 2021 at 03:25 PM

MONTECITO, CA – The Montecito Fire Department is pleased to welcome four firefighters to our organization following their successful completion of a 10-week fire academy.

Our four firefighter recruits have trained with Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Department’s two recruits in a joint fire academy. These six firefighters comprise Class 123 and are set to graduate today, May 24, 2021.

We are grateful to our partners at Carpinteria-Summerland Fire for allowing us to train our recruits alongside their recruits. The collaboration of the joint academy supports the overall success of both departments and our ability to effectively serve our South Coast communities.

Joint Academy 123 was organized and facilitated by Montecito Fire Captain Bob Galbraith. Capt. Galbraith has been involved with numerous fire academies over his 10 years with the department and stepped up to serve as our Academy Coordinator for Class 123.

“The academy is a critical piece in a firefighter’s career,” Capt. Galbraith said. “As the academy instructors, we help form and shape the department’s expectations for new firefighters, so it feels very rewarding to be a part of that process.”

Montecito Fire Engineer Billy Wren served as our Academy Assistant, working closely with Capt. Galbraith to develop dynamic and didactic training to prepare Class 123 to serve the community.

“In the big picture, this academy is a small part of their career,” said Engineer Wren. “I’m excited for these guys to get out there and see what they do to serve the communities of Montecito and Carpinteria-Summerland.”

Firefighter Dustin Barthel is Class 123’s valedictorian. He comes to Montecito Fire Department with more than eight years of experience including working as an Arroyo Grande Hotshot and for San Luis Obispo City Fire Department. He lives in San Luis Obispo with his fiancé Brittany.

Firefighter/Paramedic Jared Gamm joins the department with wildland firefighting and paramedicine experience. Gamm and Barthel worked together on the Arroyo Grande Hotshot crew and most recently, he worked as a paramedic in Monterey County. He lives in Shell Beach with his wife Shannon and 5-month-old son Callan.

Firefighter Justin Pickens says it is a “dream come true” to work for Montecito Fire Department because he was raised on the South Coast and has family roots in Montecito. He brings nine years of experience to our community, formerly as a firefighter for Santa Maria City and the U.S. Forest Service. He lives in Santa Barbara and is a proud father to his daughter, Joie.

Firefighter Tyler McManigal is starting his career in the fire service with Montecito Fire Department. He is a Navy veteran and remains in the Navy Reserve after completing seven years of active-duty service. McManigal is a Montecito native and lost his father in the 1-9 Debris Flow. He says joining the department is a personal mission and feels humbled to work alongside the men and women who did everything to help community members like his father. He lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Mackenzie.

Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Department is gaining Firefighter/Paramedic Max Klett and Firefighter/Paramedic Justin Martin. Both grew up locally and are excited and thankful for the opportunity to serve their hometown community.

Photos of the academy graduates and the badge-pinning ceremony will be available on the Montecito Fire Facebook page and are available for media use.

For questions or media inquiries, please contact Christina Favuzzi, Public Information Officer at 805-680-5562.


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