Daly City - Cole Stratton, a Daly City
Firefighter for nearly 20 years whose main duty
is supervising Daly City’s Medical Emergency
Advanced Life Support Program, is the fire department’s
“Employee of the Year 2002”, announced
Fire Chief Ron Myers.
One of four finalists, Stratton was unanimously
chosen by the Selection Committee for his efforts
“to improve patient care and survivability
of persons involved in life-threatening medical
emergencies in Northern San Mateo County.”
As the department’s Assistant Training
Officer, a position created in 2001 to address
the increasingly challenging Emergency Medical
Services program, Stratton is credited with
helping define the parameters of the position
and the program.
“Cole is an outstanding example of a professional
firefighter committed to excellence in the field
of training. As a certified instructor and trainer,
he is an invaluable member of our team, and
an unsung hero to many residents whose lives
have been saved due to the quality of our emergency
response program,” said Training Chief
Stratton joined DCFD in 1983, a feat the veteran
firefighter chose as one of his defining moments.
“I remember the grueling interview process,
which involved several tests requiring us to
prove ourselves over and over again. It was
hard work, physically and mentally, but getting
the phone call from Daly City, and hearing that
I’ve been hired as a professional city
firefighter made it all worth it,” recalled
In January 2001, he was promoted to the Assistant
Training Officer position. He is instructor-certified
in Emergency Medical Technician, Advanced Cardiac
Life Support, Pediatric Education, CPR / First
Aid, Rapid Rescue Techniques and Electronic
“There is a great deal of ongoing training
required for our medical personnel. Cole has
become a certified instructor in almost every
current subject area, both medical and fire
suppression related. He trains Daly City firefighters
as well as other fire personnel in the county’s
northern zone,” explained Chief Ciucci.
“Cole has elevated the standards for the
emergency medical service delivery program in
Daly City to new heights. He fulfills his regular
duties, in addition to completing several tasks
typically assigned to the Assistant Fire Chief,
a position that has remained unfilled. This
award recognizes Cole’s professional abilities
to perform above and beyond the norm, without
complaints, and always as a problem solver,”
Chief Ciucci elaborated.
Daly City’s program is part of San Mateo
County’s nationally recognized Advanced
Life Support and EMS program. This award-winning
collaboration partners local fire agencies with
American Medical Response (AMR), a private ambulance
provider. It requires a continuous level of
medical skills training for the fire personnel,
an area which ATO Stratton supervises.
“Cole personifies the quality of work
and commitment that should be status quo in
Daly City’s rank-and-file,” noted
Mayor Adrienne Tissier. “This award recognizes
his personal achievements as well as his unique
contribution to an excellent team of public
As a veteran firefighter, Stratton has witnessed
tragedies, but he has also seen the many positive
results that training and experience have made
in difficult situations. “When you can
mini-mize the grief someone is feeling during
an emergency, you have made a difference,”
The 45-year-old Stratton also cited the lifetime
friendships he has made, even while training
the crews on the drill ground and the camaraderie
this activity promotes, as “most gratifying”.
Completing paramedic school at age 41 was “a
challenge but very rewarding,” he added.
Prior to joining DCFD, Stratton, at age 18,
joined the United States Air Force, where he
was a firefighter from 1975 to 1979. He has
a Bachelor of Science degree in Management,
and an Associate degree in Fire Science.
Cole has three daughters: Heather, 23, Lindsey,
20, and Paige, 16, and a year-old grandson.
His fiancée, Anna Cirimele, is a lifelong
resident of San Mateo County.
The Selection Committee is comprised of the
previous award recipients since 1998. The six-member
DCFD panel included John Ballesteros, Ronnie
Goo, Linda Kleinheinz, Tony Maffei, Sue McGuirk
and Frank Panacci. The other finalists this
year were Capt. Chris Petersen, Capt. Gary Souza
and Inspector Bob Marshall.