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January 12, 2005

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Publication Date: Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Fire district briefs Fire district briefs (January 12, 2005)

Menlo fire chief's pay gets a boost

Chief Paul Wilson of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District has been given a pay increase that will boost his annual salary by $10,000, to $170,000, effective last November.

The district board unanimously approved the raise at its December 21 meeting.

Chief Wilson began his tenure with the district in November 2002 at a base salary of $150,000. Last year, he also received a $10,000 raise after a performance review.
Stepping up through the ranks

The former Firefighter Tom Calvert is now Capt. Tom Calvert. A 15-year veteran of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, Capt. Calvert was "pinned" at the December 21 meeting of the district board.

Such a promotion is a cause for great celebration by friends, family and colleagues at the seven-firehouse district, and cake and good cheer were served up after the badge-pinning ceremony. Capt. Calvert asked firefighter Roy Trester and Capt. Ben Marra, with whom he has worked closely for the last two years, to participate in the ceremony.

Deputy Fire Chief Randy Shurson told the district board that there was "keen competition" for the position. He added: "There was always something you (could tell) about Tom -- that he'd be a captain someday."

Later, Deputy Chief Shurson praised the new captain for all his contributions to the district, including grants he has secured. One of those grants funds a "wellness" program for firefighting staff and officials, with components including doctors' exams, gym training, diet and nutrition. "It runs the full gamut ... to (keep) us in shape," Mr. Shurson said. One benefit of the program, he added: lower workers' compensation payments to the state.

Capt. Calvert replaces Brian Beadnell, who retired.
More accolades

Fire Marshal Geoff Aus of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District has joined the small number of fire officials across the nation who have earned the "executive fire officer designation" from the U.S. National Fire Academy in Maryland.

Mr. Aus participated in a rigorous four-year program in order to receive the designation.

Required work included a number of research projects and papers. At least one of those papers -- on risk assessment for the local community -- is being used as a model for the country by the National Fire Academy, Chief Wilson told the board.
Passing the gavel

Bart Spencer took the president's gavel from Ollie Brown at the December 21 Menlo Park Fire Protection District board meeting, moving up from the position of vice president.

Board member John Osmer was elected vice president by his colleagues.

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