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Montecito Fire honors the promotions of six employees

By Christina Atchison
Apr 19, 2023 at 06:14 PM

04.19.2023 Promotional Ceremony

Left to Right: Division Chief of Operations Travis Ederer, Fire Captain Lucas Grant, Fire Engineer David Johnson, Battalion Chief Ben Hauser, Fire Mechanic Jess Moran, Fire Engineer Daniel Arnold, Fire Engineer Nick Eubank, Fire Chief David Neels

MONTECITO, CA – The Montecito Fire Department recognized the recent promotions of six employees with a ceremony Tuesday, April 18, 2023 at Fire Station 91. Family, friends, colleagues and community members were invited to attend the Promotional Ceremony to honor the employees’ professional accomplishments of the six employees.

“This is a historic day for the Montecito Fire Department as we facilitate the promotion of six members on one day,” said Fire Chief David Neels. “We recognize three newly appointed engineers, a captain, a battalion chief, and our Division Chief of Operations.  This is a success of an organizational structure that values the commitment of service to the community, with a dedicated focus on developing fire service professionals that are ready to respond in mitigating emergency incidents as well as participating in the needs of our community.”

David Johnson was promoted to Fire Engineer, effective January 1, 2023. Engineer Johnson joined the Montecito Fire Department in 2017 as a firefighter. He brought more than 12 years of experience to our organization from his time with Oxnard City Fire where he promoted through the ranks from firefighter to captain. Before that, his fire service career began in South Africa where he grew up and worked as volunteer firefighter through his high school years. Engineer Johnson’s time with Montecito Fire began by being pressed into service at the tail end of the new-hire academy to respond the Thomas Fire and subsequent 1/9 Debris Flow. Since then, he has become a valuable member of our organization as a highly experienced firefighter and now, engineer.

Daniel Arnold was promoted to Fire Engineer, effective January 16, 2023. Engineer Arnold joined the Montecito Fire Department in 2016 as a firefighter. He first became familiar with our community as a college student at Westmont where he graduated with degrees in Engineering Physics and Chemistry. He began his career working in construction and engineering but felt a pull toward the fire service. He joined Oxnard City Fire in 2008 and spent 8 years there where he promoted to engineer. During his time with our organization, Engineer Arnold has served on several committees including Safety, Training and Apparatus where he applies his engineering knowledge to help design & equip our fire engines. He's also part of the Dispatch Cadre and our Peer Support Team.

Nick Eubank was promoted to Fire Engineer, effective May 1, 2023. Engineer Eubank joined the Montecito Fire Department in 2016 as a firefighter. He attended college at USCB and began his career in the film and music industry in Los Angeles. A conversation with his uncle, a Ventura City Fire Chief, led him to make a career change. He joined the Oxnard City Fire Department in 2005. As a South Coast resident since college, he was motivated to serve his local community and ultimately joined our fire family. Engineer Eubank is a member of our Dispatch Cadre, Training Committee and Hazmat Team. He is also responsible for reprogramming all our radios and building our department’s communications plan which are critical to our ability to serve the community effectively.

Lucas Grant was promoted to Fire Captain, effective May 1, 2023. He joined the Montecito Fire Department in 2015 as a firefighter. He brought five years of wildland firefighting experience to our organization. In 2018, he promoted to the rank of Fire Engineer. He has also served as an acting Captain, helping to prepare him for this new role. Captain Grant previously served as president of the Montecito Firefighters Association and vice-president of the Montecito Firefighters Charitable Foundation. He also serves on our Training Committee.

Ben Hauser was promoted to Battalion Chief, effective May 1, 2023. Chief Hauser joined the Montecito Fire Department in 2008 as a firefighter. He brought five years of wildland firefighting experience to our organization. In 2017, he promoted to the rank of Fire Captain. He has also worked as an acting Battalion Chief, readying him for this new role. He has served a chair of the Apparatus Committee, has instructed the wildland refresher for the past 10 years and is a member of our Burn Cadre.

Travis Ederer was promoted to Division Chief of Operations, effective April 1, 2023. Chief Ederer joined the Montecito Fire Department in 1999 as a firefighter/paramedic. He was promoted to Fire Engineer in 2005, Fire Captain in 2009 and Battalion Chief in 2014. Prior to joining our organization, he spent 10 years working for Mount Shasta Fire, Los Padres National Forest, Orcutt Fire Department and Santa Barbara County Sheriff Dispatch. Chief Ederer has served on California Type II Incident Management Team 15 since 2002 and is currently assigned as an Operations Section Chief, Type 2. He is a California State Fire Marshal Certified Chief Fire Officer and a California Licensed Paramedic. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Cal State Long Beach in Occupational Studies and Public Safety Management. He was the recipient of the Military Order or World Wars National Award in 2019 related to his leadership role during the 1/9 Debris Flow response and recovery.

The ceremony also included a Special Employee Recognition for Fire Mechanic Jess Moran, honoring his actions to repair the Gibraltar Cell and Communications Tower following the damaging January 9, 2023 storm. The storm’s impacts rendered significant portions of the Gibraltar Cell and Communications Tower Site inoperable and running solely on battery backup power. On January 12, Moran carefully navigated a hazardous Gibraltar Road and eventually had to proceed on foot to reach the Tower Site where he successfully repaired the onsite generator and brought the entire system back online. His actions restored critical communication abilities for much of the South Coast community and emergency services. Moran was presented with a Certificate of Commendation by Fire Chief David Neels for his exemplary service.


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