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DC Firefighter is DCFD's Employee of the Year

Media Contact:  
Press Contact: Robert O'Donnell, Fire Chief, City of Daly City
(650) 991-8141
Daly 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 added.

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 commented.

Ballesteros lives in American Canyon with his wife, Suzy, and son, Luke.