GREENFIELD — Monterey County Fire Chiefs Association has honored Greenfield Firefighter Art Hernandez with the Volunteer Firefighter of the Year Award during an awards ceremony Jan. 13.
“It’s an honor to win this for South Monterey County,” said Hernandez, 45, who has been a volunteer firefighter for more than 13 years in Greenfield.
Hernandez has distinguished himself as a valuable member of the Greenfield Fire Department because of his knack of showing up at emergencies and helping when they need it the most. His commitment has earned him the nickname, “Art the Angel,” from his fellow firefighters.
According to Greenfield Fire Chief Jim Langborg, Hernandez is a well-respected member of the department because of his desire to “jump in and get dirty.”
“You never have to ask Art to do anything, because he’s already doing it, and does a great job at everything he is working on,” Langborg said.
When he is not helping out his community as a volunteer firefighter, Hernandez works full time at the Franscioni and Griva Corporation, where he manages a large agricultural operation. He is also very active in the community, serving as a youth coach and regularly volunteering at his church.
Hernandez gave special thanks to the many fire chiefs, captains and firefighters who have provided support throughout his firefighting journey.
“Their support all these years is what keeps me wanting to be part of this fire department,” he said.
Since 1982, the Monterey County Fire Chiefs Association has presented awards to individuals who have gone above and beyond the call, distinguishing themselves among their peers and their organization. Each year the association hosts a special awards ceremony to honor and recognize these individuals in three categories; Career Firefighter of the Year, Volunteer Firefighter of the Year and Support Person of the Year.
Other 2019 award winners were Capt. Silas Fischer from the Monterey Fire Department, Career Firefighter of the Year; and Patsy Gasca from the American Red Cross, Support Person of the Year.