The Nevada County Consolidated Fire District board of directors took time out to recognize two long-standing members Thursday night.
Ralph Hitchcock and John Leonard, members of the district’s seven-member board, received certificates, plaques and applause from those gathered at Station 84 in Nevada City.
Hitchcock began his career in the firefighting industry as a volunteer firefighter at Gold
Flat Fire Protection District in 1978. He spent nearly 24 years as a board of director and oversaw multiple consolidations of smaller fire departments into the current configuration of Consolidated Fire.
“Through his vision, passion, commitment, experience and leadership (and attention to detail), he has contributed to building the district into the professional organization it is today,” the resolution stated.
Hitchcock thanked his fellow board members and talked about the stark difference between when he first started and the present day.
“Back then, there was minimal training,” he said. “We elected our chief, our assistant chief and our captains. New members were voted in; it was like a fraternity.”
Leonard, who lost his bid to be re-elected in November, has been with the board of directors for about 13 years.
“He actively participated in facing the difficult challenges of finding adequate funding for the district through one Special Assessment and two special tax campaigns, two of which were successful, and through two consolidations,” the resolution stated.
Leonard said he was honored to represent the community on the board.
“I did it for the district, for the taxpayers and the employees,” he said.
Both men will serve on the board for one more meeting in December before relinquishing their seats.
To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4239.