City – John
Ballesteros, a Westmoor High School graduate and
an 11-year career firefighter, is the Daly City
Fire Department's "Employee of the Year 2000",
announced Fire Chief Robert O'Donnell.
One of four finalists, Engineer Operator Ballesteros
was unanimously chosen by the Nomination Committee
"for his untiring efforts in training and public
education, on the job and off-duty," O'Donnell
Last year, Ballesteros was the recipient of the
Veterans of Foreign Wars Award for his volunteer
work in the field of Fire Service Instruction
and Training. He is one of only two in the DCFD
who has received a Master Instructor Certificate
from the State Fire Marshal's Office. To assist
new firefighter recruits transition into the California
State Fire Certification system, he developed
a State Fire Marshal career-related education
program. For the last seven years, Ballesteros
has also been a proctor and trainer for the San
Mateo County Fire Academy, and has helped train
firefighters to survive hostile fire environments.
Ballesteros' training skills have also been utilized
in several public education programs. To foster
the youth's interest in fire service, he designed
a career development program for high school students.
His work in the department's Speaker's Bureau
and as a Neighborhood Emergency Training (NET)
instructor are "outstanding examples of his professionalism,
dedication and commitment", Chief O'Donnell stated.
The 38-year-old Filipino-American also serves
as a positive role model to many minority students
in local schools. Youth presentations, especially
at Career Days, and programs for "at risk" youths
are his personal favorites.
"Having attended schools in Daly City himself,
John connects well with the students and the community,
too. He combines his professional skills with
his personal commitment effectively, and goes
the extra mile for the department and Daly City,"
the fire chief noted.
Ballesteros attended Westmoor High School in Daly
City, and served in the U.S. Navy from 1981 to
1985. He credits his accomplishments to the values
learned from his parents and other mentors in
the schools, the Navy and the DCFD.
"I have had the good fortune of having supervisors
- past and present - who have allowed me to develop
great skills. I share this department recognition
with my co-workers whose professionalism and dedication
reflect what this prestigious award is all about,"
Ballesteros lives in American Canyon with his
wife, Suzy, and son, Luke.