Four Firefighters Join Montecito Fire Department | Homes & Lifestyle

Posted on May 30, 2021
| 9:00 a.m.

The Montecito Fire Department has added four firefighters following their successful completion of a 10-week fire academy. The firefighter recruits have trained with Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Department’s two recruits in a joint fire academy. The six firefighters comprise Class 123, which graduated May 24.

“We are grateful to our partners at Carpinteria-Summerland Fire for allowing us to train our recruits alongside their recruits,” Montecito Fire Protection District said. “The collaboration of the joint academy supports the overall success of both departments and our ability to effectively serve our South Coast communities.”

Joint Academy 123 was organized and facilitated by Montecito Fire Capt. Bob Galbraith, who has been involved with numerous fire academies over his 10 years with the department and stepped up to serve as the academy coordinator for Class 123.

“The academy is a critical piece in a firefighter’s career,” Galbraith said. “As the academy instructors, we help form and shape the department’s expectations for new firefighters, so it feels very rewarding to be a part of that process.”

Montecito Fire Engineer Billy Wren served as the department’s academy assistant, working with Galbraith to develop training to prepare the Class 123 to serve the community.

“In the big picture, this academy is a small part of their career,” said Wren. “I’m excited for these guys to get out there and see what they do to serve the communities of Montecito and Carpinteria-Summerland.”

Firefighter Dustin Barthel is Class 123’s valedictorian. He comes to Montecito Fire Department with more than eight years of experience including working as an Arroyo Grande Hotshot and for San Luis Obispo City Fire Department. He lives in San Luis Obispo.

Firefighter/paramedic Jared Gamm joins the department with wildland firefighting and paramedicine experience. Gamm and Barthel worked together on the Arroyo Grande Hotshot crew; most recently he worked as a paramedic in Monterey County. He lives in Shell Beach.

Firefighter Justin Pickens says it is a “dream come true” to work for Montecito Fire Department because he was raised on the South Coast and has family roots in Montecito. He brings nine years of experience to the community, formerly as a firefighter for Santa Maria and the U.S. Forest Service. He lives in Santa Barbara.

Firefighter Tyler McManigal is starting his career in the fire service with Montecito Fire Department. He is a Navy veteran and remains in the Navy Reserve after completing seven years of active-duty service.

McManigal is a Montecito native who lost his father in the Jan. 9 Debris Flow. He said joining the Fire Department is a personal mission and feels humbled to work alongside the men and women who did everything to help community members like his father. He lives in Santa Barbara.

Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Department is gaining firefighter/paramedic Max Klett and firefighter/paramedic Justin Martin. Both grew up locally.

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