Five Queen Creek Fire, Medical Department employees earn Patriot Award

From left to right: Captain Kris Gale, firefighter Sigifredo Castro and Battalion Chief Andy Marlar. (Submitted Photo)

The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Department of Defense office, recently recognized five Queen Creek Fire and Medical Department employees.

Former Chief Ron Knight, Chief Vance Gray, Battalion Chief Andy Marlar and Captains Kris Gale and Aaron Athey received the Patriot Award for their support of firefighters Dallas Pardo and Sigifredo Castro, according to a press release.

“While this is a great honor, the award should really go to Pardo and Castro for their service to their country and the community,” Mr. Gray said in a prepared statement. “As a department and an organization, we strive to support our service members in every way possible. I could not be prouder of Pardo and Castro for their selfless service.

Chief Vance Gray and ESGR Ombudsman Rebecca Elliott. (Submitted Photo)

“It is humbling to be recognized by these outstanding individuals and it is a privilege to lead an organization that clearly supports our troops. I applaud Chief Knight for creating a culture of support and Marlar, Gale and Athey for taking it upon themselves to embrace that culture of support.”

Mr. Pardo and Mr. Castro both serve in the Army National Guard.

“Dallas and I nominated them because we wanted to give back for their support they’ve provided to us,” Mr. Castro said in a prepared statement.

“They are always looking out for all of us as firefighters, but wanted them to know how much we appreciate them looking out for our military operations as well. We are grateful for their leadership, the department and Town.” Pardo is currently deployed to Guantanamo Bay.

The ESGR seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve, a release states. ESGR provides education, recognition, mediation and advocacy.

The Queen Creek Independent is mailed each month to 24,000 homes.

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