Firefighter of the Year
Rudie grew up in Porterville, and he started his career in 2010 as a Firefighter with the Tule River Fire Department (2010-2013). In 2011 he became a Reserve Firefighter for the City of Porterville Fire Department, working at both departments until 2013. Rudie was then hired by the Tulare City Fire Department as a Firefighter Paramedic and quickly promoted to Fire Apparatus Engineer. In January 2019, Rudie returned to the Porterville Fire Department as a Company Officer.
Rudie has a great work ethic and a passion for training. He currently serves as the Department’s Training Captain; he plans, schedules, and oversees training in accordance with industry standards, best practices, and mandates. He also schedules and supervises the rookie academy for new Firefighters. In addition to his duties with the Department, he also serves as the Vice President of the South Valley Training Officers Association and is the Associate Director for Area-11 of the California Training Officer’s Association. Rudie is well respected within the Department and the surrounding agencies. On his days off, Rudie enjoys spending time with his wife Dani and their two daughters, Addison and Kinslee.
Alex Rodriguez grew up in Orange County, California, and graduated from Fullerton High School in 1996. In 2000 he took several fire science classes at Santa Ana College, which marked the beginning of his interest in the fire service. He and his wife Jessica were married in 2004 and moved to Porterville that year when his wife was hired as a teacher in Lindsay.
Alex started working for the City of Porterville in 2005 in the Refuse Department and in 2013 he graduated from the Fire Academy. In May of 2014 was hired by the Porterville Fire Department as a full-time firefighter. Recently he advanced to the next stage of his career when he was promoted to fire engineer in June, 2017.
In his free time Alex enjoys attending church with his family, taking his kids to the many extra-curricular activities they are involved in and working on house projects. He and his wife have three young children: Mikayla, Danny and Melissa.
Captain Jason Clark was born in Encino, California, and moved with his family to Porterville where he has lived for over 45 years. He graduated from Porterville High School in 1983. He began his career in the fire service in 1990 as a reserve firefighter. He then worked in law enforcement before being hired as a full-time firefighter with the Porterville Fire Department in November of 2006.
Shortly after beginning his career as a firefighter, Jason was assigned as a shift investigator. He then promoted to the rank of engineer and continued with fire investigations. His duties as a shift investigator and the experience he gained investigating countless fire led him to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant. Soon after that Jason was promoted to fill another vacancy as the fire investigation captain in the Prevention division, where he serves as deputy fire marshal, and is in charge of code enforcement, fire prevention, and public education. In taking on his new duties Jason has shown excellent leadership and management skills. His enthusiasm and positive attitude bring a welcome addition to the management team.
Jason has been married to his lovely wife Qursha for 33 years. They have one son and two daughters, a son-in-law and three grandchildren.
Captain Clark is proud to serve the community of Porterville and he enjoys living here. He considers himself blessed to have a career in the fire service and hopes to have many more years of service.
Mike Hildreth was born in Redlands, California, and has lived in the Porterville area for over 40 years, grow-ing up in Success Valley.
He began his career with Porterville Fire Department in 1998 when he was hired as a reserve firefighter. In 1999 he became a full-time firefighter with the department, and has worked his way through the ranks to his current position of lieutenant.
In addition to his officer duties, Mike is also charged with developing and ad-ministering wildland firefighting training to all shift personnel on an annual basis. Furthermore, Mike is re-sponsible for the recruitment and testing of all new reserves, the in-house reserve academy, monthly train-ing sessions, and general supervision of the reserve training program. Anyone who knows Mike knows of his passion for physical fitness and training, making this position an ideal fit for him.
When asked to describe the favorite aspect of his job, Mike says that assisting members of the public when they are in need is very rewarding. He also enjoys the camaraderie of working with his engine company, as well as training and drills to sharpen his skills and stay current with new life-safety procedures and tech-niques.
Mike has been married to Patrice for thirteen years. Together they have two beautiful daughters, nine-year-old Logan, and six-year-old Regan. Mike enjoys golfing, weight-training, teaching his daughters how to ride dirt bikes, and spending time in the mountains with his family.
Chris Pisani was born and raised in Solvang, California. In 2008, he graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Kinesiology. He began his career in the fire profession by completing his Firefighter 1 certification at the Allan Hancock College Fire Academy in 2009.
Chris was hired as a firefighter with the City of Porterville in January of 2010. Since that time he has been assigned to the Operations Division as a shift firefighter. Firefighter Pisani became a shift fire investigator in March of 2013, and has the responsibility to investigate the cause and origin of fires occurring while he is on duty. He has investigated fires ranging from commercial and residential structures, wild land, vehicles and fire fatalities. His positive attitude and ability to function at a high level in a team environment make him a valuable asset to the investigation unit. In addition to this, he is sometimes requested to come in off-duty to assist in the investigation of other fires. Chris received his Firefighter 2 certification in 2012, became an acting engineer in 2013 and completed his certification track for Fire officer in 2014. He is presently training to become an acting officer. During his free time, Chris enjoys camping, going to the lake, watching sports and spending time with family and friends.
Chris is looking forward to getting married to his fiancee, Shannon, in May. Family members include his parents Angelo and Karen, and his twin sister Nina. The Porterville Fire Department is proud to announce Chris Pisani as our 2015 Firefighter of the Year.
Michael was born and raised in Nipomo, CA. near Pismo Beach. In 2006, he graduated from Allan Hancock College with an AS degree in Fire Technology and also completed his Firefighter 1 certification. Before joining the Porterville Fire Department he worked with Cal Fire in San Diego and also the Nipomo Fire Department from 2004 to 2008.
Michael began his career with the Porterville Fire Department in June of 2008 as a firefighter, and quickly became an acting engineer. In October of 2011 he joined the fire investigation unit as a fire and arson investigator. In December, 2012, Michael earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and in 2014 he completed his Fire Officer certification and has begun serving as Acting Fire Officer in the department.
Mike has become an experienced fire investigator during the past two years, and has assisted in multiple investigations of structural, wild land and vehicle fires. His ability to accept challenges and accomplish goals has made him a valuable member of the investigation unit. His attention to detail and ability to apply the scientific method of fire investigation has resulted in the prosecution and conviction of several arsonists. In 2013 Mike’s hard work led to the arrest and conviction of a prolific arsonist who was sentenced to 19 years and a lifetime as an arson registrant.
Mike’s dedication to the department as a Firefighter, Acting Engineer, Acting Fire Officer and Fire Investigator is second to his role as husband and father. Mike has been married to Janelle for four years. They have a beautiful little girl, Samantha Rose. In his free time, Michael enjoys camping, biking, and hiking and spending time with his family.
Cody Clem was born and raised in Porterville. He attended Monache High School, where he participated in the Associated Student Body, was a section leader for the drum line in the Monache High School Band, and was actively involved in sports. Cody went on to attend Porterville College as well as Allan Hancock College, graduating with honors and an Associate Science degree in Fire Technology.
Cody began his career with the City of Porterville Fire Department in June, 2006, when he was hired as a Reserve Firefighter. In the summer of 2008 he worked as a seasonal wildland firefighter with CalFire, thereafter rejoining Porterville Fire Dept. in the fall of 2008. He was hired as a temporary firefighter in November 2008 for a 1000-hour, limited term position, which led to him being selected as a full-time firefighter with the department in July of 2010.
Cody is known for his boundless energy, positive spirit, and his desire to complete any task quickly and in an efficient manner. In his free time, Cody is often involved in community service events, such as Shave the Brave, Fill the Boot, and the Porterville Firefighter Association’s Chili Cook-off. He also volunteers as a percussion instructor at Granite Hills High School.
When asked to describe his favorite aspect of his job, Cody says that it is a pleasure to serve the community that has given him so much, and he enjoys the camaraderie of working with his captain and fellow shift members.
Louie Gonzalez was born in Lindsay and attended our local schools, graduating from Monache High School in 1997 and Porterville College in 1999. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from Fresno State University in 2004.
Louie began his career with the Porterville Fire Department as a reserve firefighter in January, 2004. In May of 2006 he accepted a full-time firefighter position, and in 2009 he was promoted to the rank of Fire Engineer. He is currently finishing up the process to become a State Fire Marshal instructor.
Louie serves as Treasurer for the Porterville City Firefighters Association Local #2169. He has worked tirelessly as coordinator for the recent PCFA Christmas food and toy drive.
Louie is an avid golfer and has enjoyed coaching little league baseball for the past two years.
Engineer Gonzalez has excellent organizational skills and helped to coordinate the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial fundraiser here in Tulare County in 2008. In 2011 he helped organize Dan Holloway’s retirement party.
Louie’s family include his parents, Mike and Lupe Gonzalez, his brother Adam.
The City of Porterville Fire Department is pleased to announce the selection of Engineer Dan Holloway as our 2011 Firefighter of the Year. Engineer Holloway’s selection was based on his enthusiastic dedication and loyalty, his value as a role model, his participation as a team player and his ever-positive attitude and sense of humor.
Dan Holloway is a life-long resident and a 4th generation citizen of Porterville. He attended our local schools, graduating from Porterville High School in 1973. He obtained his AA Degree in Fire Technology from Porterville College in 2000.
Dan began his career with the Porterville Fire Department as a Reserve Firefighter in November 1984. In November 1987 he accepted a full-time Firefighter position, and in May 1992 he was promoted to the rank of Fire Engineer.
Engineer Holloway serves as the Fire Department’s Public Education Officer, serving the residents of Porterville as well as surrounding communities. For nine years in a row Dan has spear-headed the local Battle of the Badges Blood Drive. His untiring Public Education activities at local schools provide an invaluable service to the community, and he has served on the Tulare County Organizing committee to implement the state-sponsored Baby Safe Surrender Program. Dan is a Hazardous Materials technician and as the only Haz-Mat instructor for the Porterville Fire Department he provides training for the department as well as to the Tule River Reservation Fire Department. He also manages all critical stress debriefing incidents, and is the coordinator for the department’s website.
More recently, Dan Holloway wrote a grant that was awarded to the Porterville Fire Department in the amount of $177,000 for public education, from the Department of Homeland Security. The grant has three main components:
- Direct delivery of fire prevention and safety instruction
- Door-to-door smoke alarm installation – 1200 alarms installed
- Media campaign – road billboards, transit bus billboards, graphic public education displays on fire apparatus
Dan serves on the disaster preparedness committee at Sierra View District Hospital. Furthermore, he has made fire and life-safety presentations to 30,000 citizens of Porterville during 2010, an increase from 3,400 in 2005.
Dan’s hobbies are cooking and hunting. He serves as vice-chairman on the Summit Charter Academy school board. Dan is the president of the Burton Educational Partnership Foundation and is an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, serving as an ambassador. He is also on the advisory committee and is a mentor for the Porterville High School Partnership Health Academies.
Dan is married to Karen, who herself was awarded the Exchange Club’s Firefighter of the Year award in 1994. They have two daughters, Kayla and Ally.
Once again, we are pleased to present Dan Holloway as the 2011 Firefighter of the Year for the City of Porterville Fire Department.